Wednesday, February 23

Matt Lauer, Ebooks, and the Future

With the bankruptcy of Borders, the ebook/print book debate rages on. I've yet to switch over to an ereader, but I figure I will one of these days, but I hate the idea of losing print books altogether.

One of my greatest pleasures is discovering a new book or writer and sharing it with other readers at heart. Who doesn't love passing along a great book to a friend and waiting for them to finish it so we can discuss it?

I love browsing through rows of books and picking them up by title, cover, or impulse. Reading the jacket blurb and opening it to the first page and reading. Does the writing catch my attention? Do I turn to the second page? Do I take it to a table and read the entire first chapter?

These are things that I don't want to give up. The anticipation of discovery.

Monday on the Today Show, there was a story (
about the discovery of 69 of Thomas Jefferson's books. Books he had owned and made notations in. A true historical treasure. One of the books is an architectural book with his notes about building the University of Virginia.

Imagine books disappear. Imagine the Today Show in 150 years....

"Good morning, I'm Matt Lauer the fifth, and this morning we have Stewart Cobert with an amazing discovery." Matt 5 reaches across a table hologram to shake hands. "Welcome Stewart."

"Very good to be here,
Matt. ." Stewart settles back against his chair, the back molding around his own.

"You've made quite the discovery of late, haven't you?"

"We did, we did." Stewart veritably beams with pleasure. "We're having a hard time digesting how important this could be."

"Perhaps you'd like to share with our viewers?" Matt 5 prods on.

Stewart holds up a 21st century Kindle. "We believe this archaic device once belonged to the first African American President, Barack Obama."

A collective hush falls over the set. "Tell us more." Matt 5 directs the conversation. "What makes you believe it was his? And what exactly is the importance?"

"This device holds the complete works of ...." Stewart rambles off a collection of names before Matt 5 stops him.

"And you're sure this is President Obama's Kindle because?" He gives Stewart an opening to explain the rationale. When he doesn't Matt 5 continues. "How can you be sure it belonged to the president?"

"Well, history books tell us he owned one..."

"But, if I did my research correctly last night, lots of people in the early 21st Century owned electronic reading devices. And more owned the Kindle than any other for a while. They were quite common."

That's true, but this one contains the complete works of Maya Anjelou. She was a personal friend of the president's..."

Hopefully, you can see where I'm going with this. If books are forever eliminated, what will happen to our tactile history? The things you can touch, smell, feel, and yes, read?

Where would we be now if our Declaration of Independence was typed into a computer and electronically signed by our founding fathers? Hey, there's a steampunk idea for you :)

Would the national anthem be as inspiring if you knew it had been written on an Ipad in a coffee shop instead of in the middle of a battlefield on a scrap of paper?

I don't negate these conveniences and sometimes I'm envious of those that I don't have (Ipad, anyone?) but, I dread the day we don't have a choice.

Or this just could've been a reason to post a pic of Matt Lauer...

What do you think? And please, check out the link, it's pretty interesting.


  1. GReat post and I'm with you 100%! I love the smell of books. Just what do Kindles smell like anyway? Someone's greasy hands?

  2. Sorry - I fall firmly in the community of technological change being a good thing. Sure, the transition may be painful, but I don't think physical books disappearing will make one bit of difference in the long run. You'll still be able to read blurbs, and most importantly, read the story. People thought the TV would kill all print media originally, and now it has morphed onto the web. The stories are still being told.

  3. I'm somewhere in the middle. I love a physical book, but for convenience (and writing at the coffee shop), I'm a Kindle & iPad girl. Now if they would only invent a fragrance strip that smells like New Book to put in my Kindle (and iPad) could even be shaped like a book........

  4. I'd say I'm in the middle. I think the convenience of Kindle, Nook, or Ipad are enormous. I just think it will be sad if books and bookstores disappear forever.

    And after hearing about the Thomas Jefferson find, I do wonder what will future historians find to prove about our existance in hundreds of years? Will computer chips and apps preserve the "human" of our humanity?

  5. I'm still a book only person. Maybe cause I don't have one of those other devices, but I love a new book!

  6. Let me join you in the middle, and let me join Matt "wherever in the world" he is. I love my Kindle, but not as much as real bookx. My son says when he can make notes in margins with a pencil on a Kindle, then he'll get one.

  7. I'm right there with you, Liz, and Matt. LOL. A few years ago we visited NYC and went to the Today show (Katie was still on it) and I have pics that I took of Matt Lauer..and he's just as sexy, maybe sexier in person.

  8. I love to pick up a new paperback. But the kindle is great for backlist or getting that book you missed while it was on the shelves. But I would hate to go to all digital, because sometimes you just want to read in the tub. also, I get a little car sick reading my kindle after awhile but can hold out longer with a printed book.

  9. I'mwith Kristina M. on this one. I love my kindle for reading out of print books, but I also like it for discovering new authors. There are a lot of e-book authors out there waiting to get discovered, and I love reading them. On the other hand,I love the feel of a print book. Being able to turn the pages. I also love having a full bookshelf full of favorites.