Saturday, December 7, 2013

LONGEVITY



                                                                         


I love to read about an older book that is being revitalized in some way;   made into a movie or re-relased with a new cover or introduction.   I suppose it is because it reinforces a catchphrase from Dean Wesley Smith:  Books aren't produce (as in vegetables)   If I may paraphrase, they don't wilt.   Books can endure, sometimes for centuries.  Every author likes to think that writing a book is a small route to immortality.

In a way this revitalization can be similar to old films.   Casablanca is an all-time favourite even without any special effects.   Sometimes special effects can date a film as the techniques move on.    The original Star Trek series can look downright cheesy in some effects and costumes today but that might be part of the charm to some.

It is worth consideration that actual physical books endure better than other forms.   We can still read them;  the text is accessible.  Museums in the world have he actual works, in the author's own handwriting.  For example, the original manuscript for Alice in Wonderland  by Lewis Carroll, hand written and illustrated with line drawings is available to view, in person and on-line.     Computer code and the media it is preserved on has a nasty habit of disappearing.   At the very least, the technology changes so that the hunt for an 8 track player or computer that accepts floppy discs can be a challenge.   And that's all in a few decades.

This article, The Trouble with e-readers, is interesting to read as are the comments.   One comment refers to e-books as being just the ticket for casual one-time reading while hardcover books are still preferable for well-loved volumes and classics.   It has been suggested that with e-readers, we don't really own the books, we just lease them.

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