Interview in Verity La (Forum)

Interview in Verity La (Forum)

The editors of Verity La asked me recently for my opinion on the topic of:

A New Archaeology?

When the novel first emerged it was considered trivial entertainment. The literary productions most honoured were to be found in verses and sometimes on stages. As those mediums waned in their traditional states, the art of song writing matured and attracted many of the talents driven by poetry. Cinema rose into a global phenomenonโ€”becoming the major cultural agent for all Western cultures.

We are presently watching the book dwindle into the doddering ineffectuality of old age as print media prepares for retirement. A new medium is already emerging. It is often considered trivial entertainment, just as the novel was in its youth. Will an e-form emerge in the coming generation as the new literary standard? Is the blog already the key artefact for a new archaeology?

My response can be read in the Verity La Forum if you click here.

There are also a number of other writers from Australia who have joined in the forum. It makes for some interesting reading.

Initially the piece was written tongue-in-cheek as someone who had not even seen an e-reader, let alone used one regularly.

I adore the printed book and magazine.

I am the person who ‘will tell anyone who is listening that paper books had marvellous hand held qualities and dusty smells that made people swoon.’

But I know that things are a changin’ and fast!

I thought I better get with the program.

By sheer coincidence, I recently won a Kobo e-reader from the lovely folk at Overland Journal (thankyou – ‘I love youse all’) as part of their annual subscriberthon. I also won an Overland t-shirt and some other goodies, which was really cool.

Have I mentioned that Overland is one of my all time favourite journals – everyone should subscribe or subscribe a friend for Christmas ;).

I am now really hooked on the e-reader phenomenon. So is my son Michael, who has hijacked the device and is guarding it with great alacrity. He has never read so many books. He literally can’t put the e-reader down. He wants books, books, and more books.

This can only be a good thing.


Note: thank you to editor Alec Patric for inviting me to participate in the Forum ๐Ÿ™‚

18 thoughts on “Interview in Verity La (Forum)

  1. Am still holding tight to my hard copies..there’s nothing better on a cold winter’s night than a book in bed. ๐Ÿ™‚ But as the old song says “Different strokes for different folks..”

  2. Mags and I both have Kindles, which we love. But I’d only download those books I’d normally buy in paperback format. Perhaps when I can afford an iPad, things will be different.

    I remember doing a comparative exercise, as a postgraduate studying Information Science. The pros and cons of a broadsheet newspaper, in hard-copy and digital format, produced interesting results a decade ago. Then, the paper version won, hands down. Today my conclusions would be stood on their head, I’m sure.

    1. Thanks Martin ๐Ÿ™‚ I don’t think I would like to read electronic versions of books with a lot of illustrations eg., history books, art books, – not unless the screen is up to scratch; but with just text it is actually easier for me to read on a screen (with my bad eyesight ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). I gave up on newspapers a while back and generally only read the news on the internet (and watch on tv) – I like that I can skip most of the crap.

  3. I believe there was similar suspicion when paperbacks were invented. Things change. people will always read, but their methods will differ.

    Glad your son is reading. But there’s nothing like the smell of a brand new book, is there?

  4. I love to read,on a book, or on the kindle, or on the screen. No technology is permanent, the important thing is to communicate. And the new technologies are making it very easy but I am sure that books will stay for long.

  5. I’ve never read a book on a reader but would be interested to see what it was like. I think it’s great that Michael is so into the reader. It’s got to be a good thing. My sister is getting an iPad for Christmas so I am looking forward to seeing what it is like!

    1. I’d like to get an ipad one day ๐Ÿ™‚ but the benefit of having a dedicated reader (and they are much lower in cost – get one for about $100) is that you wouldn’t get distracted by email and social networking.

  6. I have been considering Kindle because it was all I had heard of. Now I believe there are a number of different e-readers available. Isn’t science amazing, but also frustrating. You can so often buy something today that is outdated tomorrow, lol!

    1. It is very confusing – and I think you can only buy some books for some devices (eg., there was an ebook I wanted but I can’t buy it from the Kobo bookshop – though you can buy free readers for your computer if you really want to read something that is only out on ebook format).

  7. You nailed it in your article, Gabe. I think Michael’s generation will definitely do most of their reading on devices of some sort.

    Loved this – “Many people will get their news for free but quality will take a nosedive.” It’s happening already…

    I love the feel of “real” books and am saddened by the disappearance of the bookstore but the reality is that it’s far more convenient and much cheaper to buy books on an e-reader (and I like the fact that I can change the font size, haha).
    I resisted getting an ebook reader but eventually gave in and got a Kindle. When the battery on that died and I saw how many other people had logged complaints about battery problems on the Kindle – and that Amazon’s response is less than satisfactory), I changed to an iPad.and now do the majority of my reading on it. (the Kindle screen is better, though, because it’s not a computer screen; the iPad is, plus it gets icky with finger marks)

    There are some types of books, however, that will always be better suited to print and I think what you said in your article about these is probably the way it will pan out. A most interesting and enjoyable read. Thanks.

    1. Thanks bluebee ๐Ÿ™‚ The whole issue of journalism, paywalls and free media is very interesting and things are changing so fast it makes my head spin – I wouldn’t want to be a media baron (plus they are all psychopaths anyway – haha). Ipads are fantastic devices (and other tablets) and have the benefit that you can do everything on the one device (but then there is the issue of being distracted etc.).

  8. I am totally a book person, though when we had our little earthquake I could appreciate that e-readers might have some tangential benefits, as I watched the book shelves sway to and fro. But we hardly ever have earthquakes, was my first ever! So, I’m still pro-book forever!

    1. hahahaha – I agree with you Aletha – books will always win for me too (but in the event of an earthquake I would indeed rather an ereader on my head than a bookshelf of books ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

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