Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Change Happens

Ebooks look set to take over from paperback and hardback in the near future, and like all changes there will be those who will fight it and condemn the change as not needed, not wanted, useless and other variations. There are also those who will say that the ebooks are one system crash from being lost forever. Hmmmmmmm. Ever seen what fire does to paper? Or water? Or time?

History is littered with changes in how we publish stories and I can imagine some similar tirades against them, such as those below.

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- "Paperbacks will never catch on. They're flimsy things that won't last a year and will never outsell hardbacks. They don't have the staying power or the beauty of a hard spine on a shelf."

- "Mr Guttenberg, people will never want printed books as they lack the aesthetic virtues of a hand-copied book, lovingly coloured by monks who know their job."

- "You want to abandon scrolls in favour of this...this...folio. Who ever heard of such nonsense. What about those whoso living is making the scroll holders for the temples and churches? What are they going to do now?"

- "You want to use paper made of pulped wood instead of animal skin? It'll never catch on. What about the risk of fire, or storage? And what will we do with all those animal skins, make shoes out of them?"

- "Papyrus? What's wrong with stone and clay? And have you thought about the environmental impact of replacing grain fields with these weeds? We'll all starve."

- "You want to write these stories down? Why, if you'll do that the human mind will turn to mush. What will happen if we don't have to remember things and just look it up in a book. No, the human brain is wired for our oral traditions, forget this immediately."

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Have a good day.

4 comments:

Tess said...

this discussion always reminds me of being in 7th grade and having my brother say "get beta instead of vhs..beta is the wave of the future!"

ha...was he wrong. and, vhs even went by the wayside. DVD's were the hot thing, though now we all stream live through netflix or the internet.

yes...times are a-changin'

Martin Willoughby said...

Tess:It's also similar to the accusation thrown at some SF writers when they are told that their story doesn't match the laws of physics. As if Newton, Einstein et al haven't caused our understanding to change.

face2face said...

wow, change is really scary to remind you , the things would not remain forever. I like paper book more than e-book because I like to page them instead of scroll them or feel the page under my fingers. However, we can't stop technology not developing more and more, we have to adapt ourselves to this crazy world then try to find a balance between our world and the world will like to change.

Martin Willoughby said...

F2F: Agreed. Change happens every day. We can either accept it and adapt, or get left behind.