Wednesday, August 10, 2011


This might be somewhat contradictory. I like owning things -- but I don't like collecting things.

I guess, by collecting, I'm thinking of idea of buying something because you think it might be "worth" something beyond the intrinsic value of the item. That, I believe, is a giant con game. 90% of 'collectibles' are crap, and the 10% that isn't crap is hard to find and hard to sell.

On the other hand, actually owning an item makes it yours.

There is an article in the Bulletin today: "We're paying less for music, but we're getting less, too," that asserts that making art free devalues the experience of art.

Good luck with that argument.

Anyway, I'm about to make a big book order, which flies in the face of current trends. Why?

Because I believe there are still people who want to "own" a book; and "owning" a digital version just isn't the same thing. In fact, I have to wonder if you "own" a digital version at all, or are just borrowing it.

So, which is more important? The experience of reading a book or owning a book? Well, obviously, I come down on the side of reading more than owning. Much like I think owning a "collectible" because it looks nice is more important than thinking it should be squirreled away in it's original packaging and untouched.

Still -- I like "owning" at least some of the books I read. I'll do the 90% rule again -- I probably can let go of 90% of the books I read, and keep the 10%.

So by that reasoning, there are going to be shops who can survive who sell the 10% of books, movies, and CD's that people want to own.

I've mentioned before -- because of my location in a busy downtown that has tourist business, I've repositioned my store to be more of a "gift" shop; with items that people don't see everywhere else, as intriguing as I can make them, and hopefully something they want to take home with them.

To own.

If I'm right about this -- there will be room for 10 or 20% as many venues as there were before the digital revolution started. This will probably take a few years to diminish into this lower level.

And if I'm right about this, the bigger mass market type stores won't survive at all selling music, books, and movies -- anything that can be done "free" on the internet. Ironically, it will be the little guys who combine a savvy selection of the physical, with a shopping experience, and can get people to pay the price for Ownership.


Anonymous said...

During a depression people stay home, and play with the family, read books and board games.

It's historically fairly obvious, your only problem is to keep the price point low.

Modern movies came of the depression and nickle entertainment.

'Austerity' is the word. In austere times how can a family be happy at home, ... the answer of course dunc has everything to bring the family back together again.

Ownership is a myth, .. everything can be taken by the government or the rioter.

The 'insurance' racket is the biggest ponzi of all, expect riots and act of war to be exclusions. Which is the future.

Anonymous said...

DOW down another 500+, of course now the eye of SAURON has turned to France, and yes their problem is just as fucked as the USA, as everyone now knows all of EURO is fucked. The word is if S&P can downgrade ameriKKKa then why not French? Well they're just getting around To-IT.

Ownership of GOLD historically means nothing in the USA, during past times your neighbor was given large percentage of 'findings' when the neighbor 'found' gold or reported where GOLD was hidden. Replace 'gold' for whatever valuable you wish, when a government goes broke the government goes looking for wealth.

'Ownership' many a morgue and its cadavers are safe from the kleptocracy, little else. Historically in tough times the cops who are armed go door-to-door shopping, and not much anybody can do.

Ownership is highly over-rated in a kleptocracy. Best these days to keep a low profile and create the image of paupery, otherwise your simply a target of opportunism.

Anonymous said...

Do you really OWN your iPhone?? Or does it own you?

I think if you read the agreement you'll see that you don't own your iPhone, that's why its illegal to remove or hack the apple operating system, or 'open' the iPhone for other Sim's.

Funny that Dunc talks about 'ownership' but the fact is most things are never owned, including HOMES, which are tax revenue for governments.

The fact is the lowly book may just be the only thing you can own?
But you are controlled by what you can buy or read.

H. Bruce Miller said...

I've said this before: If it's a book that (a) you'll want to read again and again, or (b) contains lavish photos, maps, illustrations or other graphics, or (c) both, buying a "book book" makes sense. If it's a book you're going to read once and then stick on a shelf and forget about, an e-book makes sense.

Not much point in buying the latter type of book just to "own" a lot of books.

Anonymous said...

eBooks make your eyes crazy, lot better to read the real book,

lastly all eBooks come off the GRID servers, and 1984 or brave-new-world, even after you paid, can disappear any time it goes black-list, ...

thus the physical book will always be coveted by those who understand that electronic technology is vaporous

Anonymous said...

pay cash and enjoy a book from duncs

read an eBook and the cops know everything you read or think and your habits and when you read your lifestyle and everything, ...

all social networking and eBook are simply by design a way for government and biz ( fascism ) to know everything all the time, the PUGS call this 'total information awareness',