Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The PB on the closing of Borders and Revival of Written Word

The Panda Bear is tired of the moaning, gripping and kvetching that is going on with the close of Borders bookstore such as an article in which equates Borders with the culture of books.   While the Panda Bear can have some sympathy for published authors whom Borders helped, to the Panda Bear Borders books is nothing but a big and probably greedy corporation that failed because it did not keep up with the times;  it is not a small independent bookstore that reflects the community it serves; Borders was a mega corporation into making prof.    The Panda Bear gets most of her books from the library where she feels true book culture live and now libraries are now doing better than ever.   The Panda Bear lives in an urban area where there are many other Borders is not leaving the area book deprived.

It was Charles Darwin who said “It is not the strongest of the species who survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”  Borders failed to adapt to change.  It did not until it was too late realize the impact e-books would have on the market.   The Panda Bear heard the upper management at Borders were not experts in books;obviously they made some wrong decisions.    In a capitalist system, they theory is the inefficient and outmoded organizations should go under; competition is what makes organizations to try to become more efficient(however, the recent US government bailouts recently violated these principles).    The Panda Bear remembers hearing in class that a problem is communist countries was that they tried to keep organizations operating that should fail and this made communist countries poor because this was inefficient.

Furthermore, there historically been changes in the written word that have effected its operations.   The printing press did away with people having to copy books by hand.   It amuses the Panda Bear to read in the old novels of Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins and D.H. Lawrence that if one needed a copy of something, a person had to copy it by hand.    Improved methods of copying have probably thrown hundreds of people out of work!!!  However, no rational person wants to go back to the times of writing and copying everything by hand.

The Panda Bear has suffered some losses in her daytime job as a result of the new technologies.   She started her work life as a professional typist, typing insurance forms on carbon paper.  She worked in secretary/assistant positions which there are now fewer of because of the invention of the word processor and personal computer.   In fact the Panda Bear was not that enthusiastic about either word processing or the world wide web when she first used them but she had adapted and now loves these technologies.

As stated in previous posts, the Panda Bear likes eReaders.  The Panda Bear's Kobo eReader broke.   She was able to to return it to Best Buy and exchanged it for the NOOK The Simple Touch Reader.   As she has stated her previous posts on eReaders, she finds it easy on the eyes, very convenient in that one can now download books from the library,  to a large extent have the feel of a book and saves the Panda Bear from having to carry lots of books.

However, in addition to the above benefits the Panda Bear is finding that eReaders are making it "cool", "hip" , "tech" and "trendy"to read.   At work, everyone looks so proud of their eReaders.    The Panda Bear and her coworkers take out their eReaders and compare features.  They show each other the their eReader libraries.   The Panda Bear can dazzle people with her ability to read a library eBook well within two weeks(the library has a two week takeout period).  The visual arts have had their upgrades in technology with photographs, movies, and television.   The audio arts have had their technological upgrades with  records, CDs and MP3s.    Now books have caught up with the other arts with eReading.

About half the books the Panda Bear takes out from the library are out of copyright.   She can get these books for free on the Internet and download them to her eReader.   This where eReaders will really hurt the publishing industry-so many classics and old books people will be able to get for free on the Internet.

The Panda Bear thinks the digital revolution will lead to a renaissance in the written word.   Just think a hundred and fifty years ago people had no alternatives to newspapers, written letters and the telegraph.   The written word was the supreme not in person form of communication.  Then telephones, radios and televsion came in making the written word slow in comparison to the newer technologies in terms of communication.   Now in the digital age the written word can compete with sound and sight technology in terms of getting information fast.

It is up to writers to take advantage on this change.

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