Maybe it is time to fold, spindle and mutilate some of our digital technologies. The threat that book publishing is on its way out is widely overstated. That certain authors have declared they will no longer distribute traditional books but only be found on line – is great to tout -but only if all their customers go online and stay there with them. Alas, poor William Shakespeare what will become of him in the digital publish and perish of tomorrow.
Classic books, like classy music, like classical paintings retain a patina of elegance that few digital readers can achieve. If printing turns into art – watch out – the price of our labors will go up, way up. If today’s authors and social media gurus are so sure that theirs is the last best mode of communication, whatever will become of them when the winds change again? Eight track tape or BetaMax anyone? Infrared exchange of vitals rather than business cards? Friending instead of a handshake? We will see. In the meantime, enjoy some slights of hand and the William Tell Overture courtesy of our friends at SAPPI paper.