Sometimes you need some time

There was a book published in 1815 that now rests in a fireproof safe. I’ve never read it.

But I have it. I can hold it. I can turn the pages. It’s history lends it value.

In a digital world, value is no longer tied to history and scarcity. Quite the opposite.

“It was never the parchment that mattered,” writes James Gleick, author of The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood.

I don’t have time to read books for fun during the school year. That drought might account for my irrational attachment to summer. Yet while I do not have the time, I certainly do have the resources. Books are everywhere.

Glue-and-paper digital versions are one of the top app categories for the iPhone. Indie bookstores are turning into publishers.

There are Twitter-ish books that even I would have time to read. There are Kindle Singles and Byliner Originals and TED Books. Paperbacks are losing the race against e-books on Amazon.

Platforms are as numerous as the leaves piling up in your yard. If you have time between raking and homework, publish a book yourself. Mizzou’s bookstore has the Espresso Machine. If you have 10 minutes and a manuscript, you can have your book.

“Self-published” loses its stigma when those authors become the majority. Every blogger is self-published, as am I.

The Internet won’t save “the very thing we thought it would kill” because books never needed saving. 

A book doesn’t capture the imagination with paper and glue. As long as the content is there, the only necessary ingredient is a reader with a little time.

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