Better a Witty Fool than a Foolish Wit

Inner Workings of My Twisted Mind.

No Downloading Required

People often ask me, as an employee of an Independent Bookstore, what I feel about the Kindle.  I actually don’t really care about the Kindle.  I don’t really believe that the Kindle threatens sales at my book store all that much.  In fact, I think that Borders and Barnes and Noble are the book stores that should be threatened by the Kindle.  Generally speaking, people who shop at independent book stores actually like to read actual books, and books that are not available in e format.

Recently also, my mother has asked me about the future of publishing, specifically, is there a future in publishing?  I work in a business that, like the music business, has fallen victim to the internet, downloading, piracy, etc.  And I will freely admit that I have written about the downfall of the music business.  Again, I will argue, that (this year especially) the quality of books being written is absolutely amazing, whereas the quality of popular music continues to decline sharply.  That being said, I find it interesting that the music business has some hope, and maybe that hope translates to books.

A few days ago I read this article in the New York Times about the resurgence of vinyl and it sparked something in me.  Now, perhaps this has something to do with the fact that I bought my first turntable a few months ago (my parents have one, but I’ve never had my own), or perhaps it has to do with the phase I went through as a young punk when I wouldn’t buy older punk music on cd because it was meant to be played on vinyl.  In any case, in the past few years, as I’ve kept up with my generation by buying cds and downloading music from iTunes, it has be come clear to me that records sound different.

This battle is occurring in the film industry as well as the battle between film and digital video takes shape.  The truth of the matter is that film looks better and vinyl sounds better.  There’s a richness to both media that is just not present in an mp3, on an HD digital video (I personally detest HD because I hate seeing people’s makeup, give me grainy pictures back, please).  The NYT article argues that it is passion for our roots that drive us toward vinyl, but I think it’s different than that.  I think that people are hanging on to the full experience of an album with liner notes and artwork, not just a digital picture on our iPod after downloading and album onto it.

To me it seems foolish to say that digital movies, music, books, etc are just a passing fad.  Obviously they are a part of the commercial realm now, but it seems equally ignorant to presume that with the iPod, video online, and the kindle are going to monopolize the industries that they reside in.  Technology moves forward, but the need for content hasn’t yet gone away, nor, do I think, will it ever go away.  Because the one thing that is true through all of these speculations about the death of these industries is that people still want to consume entertainment, perhaps more than they’ve ever wanted to consume entertainment before.

That, and of course the fact that Dan Brown can’t sign your Kindle.

Peace, Love and Old School,


December 12, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment