Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Waste(d) Words

So, as I write this I'm at the library (remember those?) using this blog as a little warmup exercise before I pop open my paper notebook and start longhanding a bit more of my novel. I tend to bounce back and forth between electronic writing and the old fashioned pen and paper method, and I've heard that some die-hards use a word processor or even a typewriter. Not me. I think that's a lot like the stubborn nostalgia for eight track cassettes, a format that has none of the richness of vinyl and none of the convenience of digital. Or to go back to apples and put it bluntly, a typewriter is a pain in the ass and a waster of valuable paper.

Just the other day, my friend P.J. was showing me his ipod Touch which, among other things can download electronic books from the internet and act as an e-reader. As a person who loves books as a tactile pleasure (holding them, turning the page, blah blah smooch smooch)my initial reaction was "Cool P.J., but who really gives a sh--?"

But then my good friend slapped me in the side of the head and yelled, "Think Man! Think of the convenience when you travel. Think of the books you like but don't love. Think of the magazines you read once and throw away. Join the future, man!"

And you know, he has a point. And while I think books (bound, paper books) should never disappear, I am appalled by the waste generated by the publishing industry. I firmly believe that magazines have no business existing in the 21st century outside of an electronic format. And as a non traditionally published writer, I can't help but see a great deal of opportunity in this rapidly emerging technology. That said, I'm going to crawl back into my dank hole now, light a candle, and write in my notebook.

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