“HEY, DO YOU KNOW YOUR JOKEBOOK IS ON KINDLE?”
Transport of the mails, transport of the human voice, transport of flickering pictures—in this century, as in others, our highest accomplishments have the single aim of bringing men together. —Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1900-1945)
Last night at the restaurant where I work (www.farmhouseinn.com) a former busgirl dined with her mother. Kate, 22, a student atChicoStateUniversitygrew up in a wired world and texting etc. is second-nature to her: it is something natural and normal for her generation. After "Hiyas" and "Whazzups" she said, "Hey, do you know your jokebook is on Kindle?"
"Actually Kate," I wanted to say, "I spent six weeks trying to format and upload the sonuvagun. It was one of the most frustrating projects I've ever undertaken--and I have eight children. It kept getting rejected and when it finally loaded it looked terrible. I ended up paying someone to format it for me."
That's what I wanted to say.
But I didn't. I asked where she saw it. A friend had downloaded it and asked Kate if she really knew the author of all these filthy and tasteless jokes. "Yes," said Kate. "And he also writes children's books."
The electronic wizardry that is an e-book, like all technology, is invisible to the user. I don't have to know about the interactions of speed, momentum, and traction for my antilock brakes to work.
I stomp; I stop.
The same is true for the new e-book technology: when all is said and done it's words on the page. It is not a gimmick or a fad.
It's another babystep in the journey of human language and communication: another skip&jump forward in the inexorable and ineluctable progress of civilization. From papyrus, to codex, to manuscript, to wood block presses, to moveable type, to linotype to electronic publishing.
No one loves books (real books that you can toss in the back seat of a car or read in the bathtub) more than me, but I'm excited about all this e-stuff. Not only for the marketing opportunities it affords me but because this crowd of folks on earth right now (you and me included) might be know as the gang that saved the forests and improved the scope and utility of human communication.
Rob Loughran lives inWindsor,CAand is a big fan of “Raggedy Chan”. He has 23 books in print, several of which are available in e-format and free PDF download. Check him out at: