Monday, March 04, 2013

The "slow books" movement

The latest brilliant idea for the anti-e-book crowd is to call themselves the "slow books movement".  This is modeled on the "slow food" movement which promotes locally sourced, high quality, relaxed dining over fast food.

The problem with this idea is... well... where do I start?

1) E-books are not poorer quality "junk" books.  They are just book in a digital form.  Largely the same ones that are also available in paperback. And e-book readers are not spotty oiks reading  purulent crap written at a Dick-and-Jane level of semi-literacy. The are just readers.  They just like books. Oh, and "literary" books are not the only kind of good books, FFS.

2) I agree that it is good to shop in local brick-and-mortar bookstores.  But I think it is equally great to buy a local author's e-book from an online store.  Both of these actions display support of the local cultural and economic community.

3) Treating e-books, e-book readers, and e-book writers as the enemy alienates a large sector of the reading public.  Specifically readers who are tech savvy, ethically aware, and high volume consumers of prose across genres and platforms.

In short: get a clue. E-book readers are not the problem.  Non-readers are. Are maybe some of them are being put off engaging with the book culture by the self-important, pseudo-intellectual nonsense being churned out by the neo-luddites of the book trade. People who only want to sell the right kind of books to the right kind of readers.  And don't give a flying fig what happens to the rest of us.

Well, keep it up chaps.  Pretty soon the feeling will be mutual.

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1 comment:

M Barnette said...

Frankly I've read a large number of 'the classics' and for the most part they were boring.

Maybe this bunch of self-important Luddites need to try the modern approach: Read what you like, not what some pseudo-intellectual who hasn't a clue what constitutes a good book tells you to read.