As a junior high school student delivering the Florida Times-Union to customers throughout my neighborhood, it never occurred to me that one day we’d say goodbye to newspapers. But we are, sadly and surely doing just that.
Soon, I suppose, hardback and paperback books will become as rare as papyrus scrolls and possibly just as hard to find.
I grew up on 35 cents-per-gallon gasoline, telegrams, party line telephones, cars you could fix yourselves without hooking them up to computers, and real books. Real books were more than words on paper: they were the paper itself and the type selection and the binding.
Digital books have no binding or paper–it’s all just pixels on a screen–and the tactile sensations of paper choice and weight and type font are going, going, almost gone with the wind.
I resist this, of course, as I must, while simultaneously seeing little point in fighting it. I see the value in it, too, and hope that accessibility and ease of purchase will make up for what we are losing in the transition from paper to screen.
You will have a chance to “pick-up” a few e-books between March 7 and March 13 at a bargain, for this is Read and E-Book Week. My personal preference is books made out of paper; I’ll admit, though, to having a few e-books on my computer. As for Kindle, no, I’m not ready for that, or for reading books on my phone, for Pete’s sake. But sometimes price and convenience trump everything else.
I wonder if anyone employs newspaper boys any more. I suppose I could Google that and find out some day when I’m feeling nostalgic for news left on my driveway by a kid riding a bike. Kids still ride bikes, don’t they?
You can find “The Sun Singer” and other Vanilla Heart Publishing books at Smashwords, a sponsor of Read and E-Book Week.