Sunday, October 30, 2011

Are you a bookstore or aren't you?

I've been catching up reading my New York Times Magazines and New York Times Book Reviews. A few months worth.

The content is pretty much the same as I'd find online.

The reading experience is completely different.

I find I stare and contemplate the pictures longer on paper. I find that I read the entire article, flip back and forth to catch nuance, and pretty much get absorbed by the experience.

The exact same articles online, I glance at the pictures, I skim the articles.

Probably just habit. I don't know. An old dog.

But it's so much more pleasant.

Anyway, it's got me to thinking about how so many of these types of blogs about digital and paper devolve into "either/or" arguments. As if, by preferring to sell comics and books, I'm denying the power of digital. That I'm somehow sticking my head in the sand.

I'm saying that there is room for books and comics, and somehow has to sell them, and it might as well be me.

The old buggy maker argument is often used. But I wonder -- surely there were a few old reprobates who preferred to keep working with horses even as the combustion engine was roaring all around them.

This doesn't mean that they didn't see the power of the new technology; just that they preferred to continue to work with the old technology. It isn't going to all happen overnight. It seems to me that someone who looks for ways to make the old model work just a little longer, as a bridge to the new, might be more successful than someone who is hedging their bets, who is actively promoting an alternative while still making most of their money in the old.

I mean, I'd rather buy from somehow who is upfront about selling me a book, than someone who says, "Hey, I can sell you a book, but wouldn't you much rather buy this newfangled Nook?"

It seems hypocritical to me, somehow. Phony. Almost treacherous. Are you a man or a mouse?

They're selling books while stabbing them in the back. (I'm talkin' to you, Amazon and Barnes and Noble and the idiotic independents who somehow think it's a good idea.)

So, sell the frackin' Nook, because you obviously believe it to be the future.

I'll buy my books from someone who still prefers the books.

An ever diminishing minority, perhaps.

1 comment:

sourdaddyjones said...

I just wrote about books vs. tablets on my blog. I am in the same camp as you with having trouble or even wanting to adapt to the new technology. I also love the smell of books and you can't get that with a tablet.