INKDROPS: The next ‘new’ thing

First there was paper and printed books. Then e-books came along that was going to remove the entire paper industry. And while they were less expensive at first, price now are quite close to their paper versions, especially for name-authors. It is not uncommon to find a print edition for $14.99 and an e-book priced at $12.99. In my opinion that is highway robbery, but it is, of course, a supply and demand action, and for a big name author you are offered a format choice more than a price choice.

I prefer paperbacks. I like the feel of the book. But I like having a book library at home. On the road, reading an e-book is more convenient, but that is the only satisfaction I get from it. I miss the cover art up close, the texture, gloss or matte, interior paper quality and ink crispness, not something that adjusts according to my whims. But that’s just me.

So the next ‘new’ thing, I am guessing, will be virtual books. I can see it now. You’ll get a small wristband or headband, or perhaps an earbud and somehow this will project some imagery directly into your brain so that you see the book in front of you, or you just see the words, or some add-on interface creates some digital imagery to give you a movie version of what was actually written, probably gonna be more successful that way given the general lack of vocabulary skills and reading levels out there today.

Or perhaps like the science-fiction movies, you plug-in at night to some special interface and when you awaken in the morning you fully remember the book that you had read. But not really read, just process to your brain kind of read. It’s a brave new world out there filled with a multitude of new toys all with special features, all at a convenient price that you can pay off for the next few decades, guaranteed to give you a thrill as well as information. I suspect that movies are becoming the same thing, holographic, virtual, cerebral stimulated digitized cortex revitalizations that take the experience to levels unknown today. It’s hard to imagine, and yet you look at what’s out there that’s a new and you realize that the sky is the limit, bound only by the imagination of the designer and the ability to market it and make a buck.

I can just hear the kids of tomorrow saying “I’ve downloaded three hundred books this month.”

“That’s nothing, I downloaded ‘War and Peace’.

“What’s that?”

“How do I know. My mom just told me to download it. It was okay.”

Yes, we want to get rid of paper because of the cost to the environment, but we still have to convince the country that a jet of water up the rear end can work better than toilet paper, and until then, I suspect that paper will still be around, although a newer supply of eco-friendly material may be developed instead of chopping down oxygen-producing trees.

I like paper. But then I like hand-written note cards and letters, and fountain pens that take skill to learn, not the disposable gel-things in a billion colors like tattoo art gone wild. It beats an email any day. It beats a text message. And it’s difficult to add an emoji to a written letter unless you are an art student, let alone the compressed language of abbreviated words (LOL, ROTFL, STFU).

But then again, watching the fads of Tik Tok and the self-absorbed galaxy of selfies that dominate the electronic universe, I doubt very few people would agree with me.

And I am good with that!