I was the kid who loved to have a camera around. Perhaps that is why I always find myself using photography as a metaphor for my other love: writing.
I’ve talked a little about this before; I even planned a class on it, but today I am thinking more about the move to digital photography and how that reflects on the world of publishing.
I had a pretty early version of a digital camera while I was finishing up my undergrad degree. It was expensive and I eventually sold it on eBay (ah the early days of eBay before everyone started over charging for shipping) but I loved the idea of taking as many pictures as you want and then saving and/or printing off only the ones you liked best.
This, to me, feels like a good way to understand the current world of publishing. I might publish a few things online here and there (more and more) but the items that I really want together, I eventually want to see collected together on the page.
I’m not saying that online publishing is somehow inferior to print publishing (heck I run an online magazine!) but you are able to publish more than you can in print. You don’t have to spend money on paper (or for photography film) so you can share more.
That first digital camera I had was clunky and didn’t take particularly good photographs but now for the same price I can have an excellent 10 megapixel (or higher) camera that takes amazing pictures. I wonder if this is what will happen with e-readers? I just don’t see the joy in reading on an e-reader. It’s so plain. You don’t have a pretty color cover to turn to or blurbs on the back to scan. There is no bookmark to place. But will they, eventually, become so gorgeous (as ISSU and iPad are getting closer) that we won’t miss the heft of a book in our hands in the same way I don’t even own a film camera anymore?
I’ve just been thinking about this more as I still continue to read traditional books and to seek traditional modes of publishing while at the same time reading quite a few (probably too many) online journals but no online books?
Just things that make me go hmmmm