Friday, August 21, 2009

Words is Words

Since I work in an office I have meetings, at which I have lots of time for daydreaming and doodling. Sometimes I jot down story notes. Several times I've sketched maps.

This means that when I have to think about something complicated, like Jupiter or magnetism, I have a ready-made Thinkin' Time for it.

Lately I've been thinking about those fancy electronic gizmos that plug in and display books. Some kinda magic lantern spaceman goggles, online book reader robot thing, if I'm understanding correctly.

Evidently there are some complicated and heated arguments about digital rights, readership numbers, accessibility, cost, creative licensing, and so on. Not to mention the whole Jupiter-magnetism issue.

But where I've landed is this: I write stories. I do not illustrate. I tell stories through words. And people can read them printed on paper, or illuminated on a screen, or posted on a blog. Words is words.

I am very easygoing, as you can see. It's not just a perspective of wanting anyone to read my books on any device or medium they want (though I concede that's a factor), but rather that if people want to experience the words this way or that way I don't attach much value judgement to it.

As far as they're concerned, that is. As for me, stock my little house with bookshelves, let me smell the ink and paper, and marvel that this thing made from pressed plant fibers, and glue, and ink, somehow holds entire worlds.

But audio books? Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war! Hearing words isn't the same thing as reading them. Or is it? To learn more about this fascinating debate, sign up for my podcast in which I continue this using speech. Oh, you have to have a sound card installed. And speakers. And I've invented a sort of grunting hog-language, comprised largely of gerunds and references to slops, but as long as you've installed the Translato-Pig 9000.03.1.29 you should be fine. Also you will need ears.

1 comment:

Barbara said...

Books work jes fine for me! I don't like exhausting my scrolling down finger just to read. Books on tape are good for very long car journeys and flights when your eyes droop onto the pages. Give me books, though, any day!