Last friday, all of my fellow CreComm first years and I walked the few blocks to the Cinematheque to see “Page One: Inside the New York Times”, a documentary that captures one year inside the New York Times newspaper. I found the film to be a gripping snapshot of a medium that is painfully in flux and uncertain.
The biggest concern for many of the NY Times staffers was the increasingly unclear future of the printed word. As citizen journalism becomes more and more popular and inexpensive to produce, many are beginning to question if knowledge should be for sale.
I myself feel concerned about the E revolution, but for somewhat different reasons. As a former English major, I love my books. And I’m not just talking about first date, giddy kind of love. I’m talking mind-blowing, unforgettable, truly one of a kind love. It’s the kind of love that you allow to order the Ultimate Feast at Red Lobster. Yeah, it’s that serious.
Needless to say, I don’t get the same life-changing love from an e book on my iPad than from my perfectly preserved first editions. My e book of “Pride and Prejudice”, for example, would get a Red Lobster side salad. And I wouldn’t even share a single cheese bun.
But of course there are so many great things to be said for online reading materials: they’re cheaper, they’re better for the environment, they’re more accessible. But I just can’t see a real future for us. It’s not them, it’s me.
So as the world begins to change around me and I grip onto the spines of my wonderful novels that helped me see so many new worlds, I just can’t help but be a bit afraid, a bit unsure, and a lot nostalgic. Just don’t tell Steve Jobs.
How do you feel about the E revolution? Do you sleep with your iPhone or still work on a typewriter? Either way, I want to know. Comment and share your two cents, or twelve. Whichever.