Haha your medium is dying…
December 16, 2010 § 4 Comments
I am very passionate about what I do.
I discovered a blog post on eReaders and how book publishers feel about them. Now normally, I would take their side. For several reasons, maybe. Perhaps because though I am not one of them, I feel like I can identify with them. Or maybe because I mostly think they’re always right. Or it could be that I’m sucking up to these people I’ve never met in hopes of one day meeting and becoming one of them. But the reason doesn’t matter. Especially since this time, I don’t take their side.
Or maybe I do. See, a few of them think that eReaders make it easier to actually read books instead of carrying them around, and so forth and so forth. But sometimes, I think book publishers can really miss the point.
It’s not about the book, it’s about the art.
I will never ever have an original painting by Picasso or Van Gogh in my house–mostly because I don’t forsee myself ever having the money to afford one. But I will always be able to identify a lady painted by Picasso and when I glance into the night sky, I will always picture Van Gogh’s Starry Night. Because it’s not about the original, it’s about the art.
I’m sure “real” artists everywhere are shaking their fists and yelling obscenities at me, but I will maintain my point of view in this argument. Who cares if I purchase a CD or buy the song for a dollar off iTunes or download it from some illegal website for free? At least I have the song and I know the words of the song and I experience the feeling of the song.
It’s the same way with books. People miss the point, the bigger picture. Books are not important. Books are just papers bound up together to look pretty to make money. It’s the content that matters. It’s the writing inside that I’m buying, so who cares if I’m buying it off Amazon for a quarter or downloading it to my Nook? I’m fairly certain Hemingway and Austen would agree that it doesn’t matter in what way I read their story, it’s just important that I read it. (Disclaimer: as I have never met these two notable authors, I cannot say with certainty that they would agree with me. However, that’s not really the point of this analogy.)
I am a writer. I love to write. And I don’t care if you read my thoughts on a blog or on a handwritten letter or on 300 acid free pages bound up with a cover and back. I just care that you read my thoughts.
When I go to the museum to look at Starry Night, I’m participating with Van Gogh in his expression of art the same way I participate if I’m gazing at Starry Night splattered over my shower curtain. If I’m able to be apart of art in one expression, whose to say I can’t be a part of it in an un-original expression? If you read Alice in Wonderland from cover to cover, how is that different than reading the “printed” words on an iPad or Kindle? In each way you fall through the rabbit hole with Alice and travel with her through escapade to escapade. At the end of your experience, I don’t think you’ll be cheated just because you read it on an eReader.
I’ve been a writer my whole life and it wasn’t until I have the ability to make a living off my art that I feel like an afterschool art program whose funding has been cut. Don’t tell me that my medium is dying until you tell me that the existence of language itself is no more.
My medium will never die. Instead, it will constantly reinvent itself in the hopes of continuing to reach a readership of many.