Reinvent the perfect invention?
I stumbled across this article this morning — through Twitter. The title: Why We Don’t Need to Reinvent the Book
Before you hop on over and give it a read, let’s think about the truth, falacy of this. Does the book need to be reinvented to fit into the time frame we have for it? As a mother and writer, I love to read. I read to the kids — I try to read for pleasure when I can, usually after everyone goes to bed with the help of my itty bitty booklight. But the truth of the matter, I can grab a chapter here or there, waiting for the kids at gymnastics or dance. Or soon, at soccer games.
But, as I was reminded by Smart B@#$%es Trashy Books this morning, sometimes when you dart out the door you forget something of key importance. Your latest paperback. Your Sony E-Reader or Kindle. No time to return, you suffer watching little ones tumble about — okay, it’s not suffering, but you get the point. Your heart longs for whatever story has captured your attention. Whichever author is currently holding you hostage with their carefully woven story. BUT who leaves the house without their phone?
Personally, I’d pay the two bucks to download a chapter through Stanza, while on the go. And while I love the feel of the book, I also love the earth. I am a author, so I want to build an audience. As a new author, maybe readers will check out a free book or shell out a few cents for a short story. And, as one of my reviewers once said, the short story is the perfect fulfilling length for mommies on the go.
So, yes. Don’t reinvent to book. Don’t stop printing them. Keep them, love them, shelve them on something other than Shelfari. But, maybe Tim O’Reilly is right about something. We do need to reinvent some of the medium to keep up with the world. To engender a love of reading in our youth. And remind them why literature, the book, and the musty page smell we all adore is something not to forget.