Thursday, July 28, 2011
A Conversation & A Question
The only detail in today's post that has anything at all to do with France is the fact that I'm writing it from here.
I wanted to tell you about several conversations I've had lately and if you have the time and the inclination I would in turn love to hear your take on the subject.
Topic for the day: Reading.
Question of the day: How are we reading these days?
As you know I have many many friends working in the world of the printed word. All are still attached to paper, but each one has changed his or her habits in their own reading and all are cutting edge tech savvy.
One editor friend took courses to help put her newspaper onto the tech fast track and often sets her clock for the middle of the night to make sure no gliches have muddled up the paper's site.
She is one of my very, very best friends and is also one of the funniest individuals I have ever known. We had an e-mail conversation last Sunday morning and in closing she said, "I have to run now, I'm off to church to pray for the newspaper business." I whisked off a response suggesting she "include books and magazines in your prayers."
Yesterday I was in a long and lovely conversation with an editor friend at a magazine. She, like the rest of us raised in these media, continues to be passionate about her metier. But she said it is anything but easy and when she speaks, as she often does, at colleges and universities, and sees "that sparkle in the students' eyes when they tell me they want to work for magazines, I caution them 'if you were my child, I would tell you to look elsewhere for your future'."
She does not steer them away from careers in the media, only print on paper.
She admitted that the only words between hardcovers that she has bought in the last several years have been either cookbooks or the occasional beautiful coffee table tome filled with luscious photos to which she returns over and over. "All the rest of my reading is done on my iPad," she said, "and I have never read as much in the past as I do now because it is so easy."
Yet another friend, a famous serious fiction author, is still turning out hard cover books, but last week he did a Twitter interview with a major magazine to promote his latest novel. And, for his previous work he "Tweeted" little teasers from the book every day for months. If it's not part of the "read," technology has definitely become part of the promotion and marketing package for books, which isn't surprising.
And he, like my magazine editor friend, does all of his reading on his iPad. He even has his magazine subscriptions therein. When I saw him recently he shared his collection of New Yorker magazine cartoons with me on his screen.
Last Christmas my daughter and son-in-law gave me a Kindle. I take it wherever I go and am exchanging books with her and another friend. But, I still dearly love books and I am a magazine addict.
For me there is something comforting about a house filled with books, curled up in front of the fireplace or under a duvet in my bed with a book is pure heaven for me.
I'm wondering if books will become collector's items or merely decorative dust collectors. How sad that would be.
Just curious, what types of books -- real books, not e-books -- would you buy? And do you still want your magazines real magazines?