Sunday, January 16, 2011

When the Kindle Will Be No More!

"Where can I charge my Kindle? Show me the way Lord!"

Last night I watched The Book of Eli on Netflix. It was about a man who must walk across the US in a post apocalyptic period in which a great war has ravaged the world, decimating its populations. What's also apparently happened is that books were burned. Lots of them. Especially Bibles and all manners of scripture no matter their religion, since it was religion that sparked the great final conflict in the first place. Go figure.

There is only one more King James Bible left on the planet and our man, Eli who is played by a bad-ass but entirely spiritual Denzel Washington, is the one selected by God to transport that printed "Word of God" to the west, where a group of survivors await him. In the meantime, the world has become mostly illiterate, written words holy or not, being the root of all evil.

It was while watching this movie something funny struck me.
Lately I've been blogging a lot about having run-ins with bookstore owners and readers who choose to ignore change even in the face of change, about the staying power of the Kindle and most E-Readers for that matter. One bookstore owner put her feelings succinctly when she called the Kindle a "toy" and a "fad." She also referred to it as temporary. In her mind, paper books and bookstores liker her own, where returns still rule the day despite the damage they do to authors, will once more rule the day.

I believe just the opposite.
That Kindle readers and their evolutionary predecessors will not only rule the future, but they will eventually replace paper as the dominate method for reading books, just like the music download has replaced CDs and prior to that, CDs having replaced vinyl. The fact that Kindle sales are much more author friendly in terms of both payment percentage and their ability to be quickly produced and distributed to the marketplace, is a stroke of luck for me, even if, in terms of The Book of Eli, it feels more like divine intervention.

So then, what struck me as so funny during the movie?

At one point, Eli finds himself listening to tunes through an "old" Ipod. Problem is, he's living in the post apocalypse Road Warrior world. Dude needs power if he's going to continue to listen to those sweet pre-war tunes. So then, what's interesting to contemplate is that he might have also uncovered an old Kindle. You know, one of those fancy "toys" that was all the rage prior to the war. He might have begun to read a Holy Scripture or perhaps one of my own books like The Remains or The Innocent on the device, only to see the words suddenly fade into black as the power was sucked from the device like the last drop of water from a newly dried up well.

When and if that "end of days" time comes for the world, and there appears a Holy Man like Eli who must transport the one remaining Holy Bible left on the planet across the ravaged terrain of this once great country, you can be sure it will be a paper version and not a Kindle. Because only when we have reached "the end of days" and all humanity will have finally gone the way of the bomb, will the Kindle finally fade from existence.

To watch the trailer for The Book of li, click here:

1 comment:

  1. Ha.This post made me giggle. Good point! And I have to agree with you about the kindle. I swore up and down (hoped to die put a needle in my eye) I would not by an electronic device to read books! Paper only. That's it. I refuse to change and will stick with the nostalgic ways... that is until I started beta reading novels. OMG. I hate reading off a computer screen. I hate printing stories off my printer. It Jams. The wires come loose. I pull out my hair. My eyes twitch. Need to see a shrink. ect... Kindles you can upload Word .rtf's and have the kindle read out loud to you while driving in the car. Time saver! You can upload your own work and edit standing in enormous lines at the grocery store instead of sniffing hair of lady infront of you and wondering how long since she showered (I probably shouldn't be thinking those thoughts). You upload classics for free. You can.. You can.. You can... it's a miracle! Like the bible! And Eli! Ha. ;-)

    Anyway, I agree full heartedly with you. I think most of us that are arguing against technology are really just being human and arguing against change. It's natural. Once we learn change doesn't always have teeth and zombies its easier to embrace.

    ps. Speaking of books. I need to read one of yours. I swear I read a book called The Remains several years ago. I loved it right up to the very end. Oh man, the ending ticked me off. I need to go figure out if it was yours or not. ;-)