Look out, I’m in a good mood . . .

On June 6, 2006 by Eden M. Kennedy

“In the context of history, the changes that today’s technology will impose on literary society may not be as earth-shattering as some may think. In fact, books themselves are a relatively new construct, inheritors of a longstanding oral storytelling culture. Mass-produced books are an even newer phenomenon, enabled by the invention of the printing press that likely put legions of calligraphers and bookbinders out of business.

That history gives great comfort to writers like Vikram Chandra, whose 1,000-page novel, “Sacred Games,” will be published in January. Mr. Chandra, a former computer programmer who already reads e-books downloaded to his pocket personal computer, said he saw no point in resisting technology. “I think circling the wagons and defending the fortress metaphors are a little misplaced,” he said. “The barbarians at the gate are usually willing to negotiate a little, and the guys in the fort usually end up yelling that ‘we are the only good things in the world and you guys don’t understand it,’ at which point the barbarians shrug, knock down your walls with their amazingly powerful weapons, and put a parking lot over your sacred grounds.

“If they are in a really good mood,” he added, “they put up a pyramid of skulls.”

Read the whole article, “Digital Publishing Is Scrambling the Industry’s Rules,” here (requires registration).

ETA: You don’t really have to read that article, I just liked that pyramid of skulls bit, it really put the ribbon on the package.



3 Responses to “Look out, I’m in a good mood . . .”

  • ok, i won’t read it. i have a killer headache and it was soooo good of you to let me off the hook with that whole ‘reading’ thing.

  • Love ebooks. Great for traveling. I keep a few loaded on a Palm, and pull it out of my bag whenever I have to wait somewhere, etc. Awesome. And I read once (can’t remember my source!) that 40% of the books printed get destroyed because they go unsold. Gee, I wonder if they recycle all that paper :)

  • That last comment is a bit horrifying. My god, I hope they recycle it. Poor trees. I wonder if e-books are more environmentally friendly, or if they just pollute in equally-damaging but different ways.