Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Death of Pulp Books? Please.

You can feel it coming. Everywhere you look, headlines scream from mountaintops. “Paper and ink books are dead!” Really? At some point, I’m expecting the coroner from The Wizard of Oz to officially declare it. “The wicked book is undeniably, most certifiably dead!”

Seems to me that certain people want to see the demise of the printed book. Could it be a group of environmentalists leading the cause to bury pulp books so they can save more trees. Or could it be a handful of manufacturers who’ve conspired to put the old, tired, pulp fiction six feet under and profit from the newest trend of e-gadgets?

Is the printed book really dead, or are electronic reading devices the equivalent of microwaves? Ovens are still around, you know. Nobody shouted from mountaintops about the demise of the oven back in 1945. Microwaves were just a new, faster way to cook.

Hmm, maybe it’s a given that reading devices will some day replace printed matter altogether. So, we should get over it. Let’s not forget the dwindling newspaper and magazine subscriptions. Have you seen a copy of the Sunday newspaper lately, or the thinning monthly magazines? They look more like flimsy pamphlets on crash diets these days. Remember when the Sunday newspaper was part of your muscle toning routine? Whatever happened to that? Heck, the Kindle only weighs about ten ounces, and the iPad isn’t that much heavier. Bummer.

One thing’s for sure. The days of rolling up newspaper and bitch slapping your Chihuahua when it pees on your imported Oriental rug, are most definitely over. And what’s one to do when you need to level your dining room table with a good hardcover book, wrap yesterday’s fish, or soak up that oil stain from your garage floor?

Yes. If you ask me, we still need paper books and monstrous Sunday newspapers. They’re still useful for something.

All I know is that electronic gadgets don’t work as well for any of that other stuff. Not even when all their wondrous electronic components have inexplicably failed.

Believe me, I’ve tried.