(minds out of the gutter, people…)
Last weekend, one of my friends’ friends related a story that she had dropped her Nook on the floor of her parking garage when she got out of the car. It cracked the screen, which didn’t really matter anyway as the device wouldn’t turn on after the fall. She complained that she was going to be without any reading material for her upcoming trip to the U.K.
I said that I felt her pain as I had been reading a book the other day and it had fallen off my chair and into the sand at the beach. Not only had I gotten sand in between the pages, but I had lost my place! Luckily, I was able to get the sand out and found my page and back to reading I went.
Of course she was under 30 and didn’t understand the satirical nature of my comment (satire IS lost on the young). But, it demonstrates that there is STILL a market for “hard things” in this world like books, DVD’s magazines and newspapers. Not everything needs to be digital.
Environmental benefits aside, the world’s rush to transfer everything to digital might one day have its drawbacks. Sure, downloading a film from your TV’s On Demand feature or from NetFlix’s Internet service is getting easier and faster. But solar storms, power outages and natural disasters are just lurking around the corner (or maybe you HAVEN’T been paying attention to this blog). And of course forgetting to recharge your device of choice is an age-old problem that can lead to not having any media at your disposal.
I like books. And DVD’s. And the paper. And hard copies of emails, scripts and notes. These are just a few of them and why I like them still:
I love books because I love to read. Fiction, non-fiction, historical, instructional; they ARE an incredible effing pain to lug around when I move, and so I don’t plan to move often or anytime soon. Also, they don’t need an Internet WiFi connection to load, they don’t run out of a charge and when you drop them, they don’t break. PLUS, they are a cool conversation piece when your date comes over sees how well read you are when looking through your bookcase (maybe she’ll even find that copy of “The Big Book of Sex”). If you’re trying to prove how well read you are by leaving out your kindle to the menu page, then you’re just a douche-bag.
I have a pretty good DVD collection. It could be better. It’s important to have this when your cable company is having issues or when the neighbors accidentally cut your Verizon cable while doing some work on the building. OR when the DirecTV satellite goes behind a rain cloud… Plus, when you really want to watch “Beerfest,” “Joe Dirt,” or “Southland Tales,” late at night they might not always be readily found On Demand.
The newspaper and magazines
I subscribe to the LA Times. Sure, it’s mostly for the crossword and my new addiction (frustrating addiction) to Sudoku. But, it’s also a great source of news. Not the news on the front page, which has been cut, washed and dried per the editorial dictations of the editors-in-chief’s politics. The little stories near the end of each section are simply the best. Where else can you learn that a black bear had to be removed for the third time from a Glendale pool?
Each one of these mediums does have a common theme: they can all be shared easily by walking over to your friends’ house and having an actual interpersonal conversation and saying, “Here is that new copy of ‘Shades of Grey’ you and your wife wanted.” (And, NO, I don’t mean the trashy S&M novel. I mean Jasper Fforde’s “Shades of Grey.” And if you’re not reading Jasper Fforde, you’re dumb.)
I have made one total conversion to digital: music. I can’t remember the last time I bought a CD and I don’t know anyone who does. Maybe the future holds the same for me and all the hard things I like, but I’m going to go kicking and screaming.