RE: RARA-AVIS: nuts to the feel of a real book

From: Harry Joseph Lerner (
Date: 20 Dec 2009

  • Next message: davezeltserman: "RARA-AVIS: Re: nuts to the feel of a real book"

    I agree that it is very important to not confuse "content", i.e. the story, with the "container", as you put it. But I also recognize the fact the "container" is not just a container but also a conduit through which a story is perceived, understood and appreciated. Each one of us has his or her preference as to how we perceive and appreciate any story. Personally, I find reading my hardcover 3rd edition "Maltese Falcon" or a 1950s original Gold Medal paperback a far more engaging and rewarding experience than reading anything on my computer or listening to anything on a CD. That's just my preference. Most people can appreciate the medium along with the message, and the relationship between the two, without confusing one with the other.

    Happy Holidays and best for 2010 everyone!

    Best, Harry
    ________________________________________ From: [] On Behalf Of Frederick Zackel [] Sent: December 19, 2009 11:40 PM To: Subject: RARA-AVIS: nuts to the feel of a real book

    Geez, I get tired listening to that yawp!

    Ya think folks will stop buying real leather-bound (oops, cardboard-bound) books because e-readers pop up?

    Ever heard of an audio book? OMG!!! It's not a book! It's a tape! It's not a book at all!!!!

    Go ahead and drive from D'Etroit (that French city by Canada) down to Miami on I-75 and read a book the whole way. Or go getcha a tape or CD of Elmore Leonard's story being read by Nicole Kidman and listen down the road.

    We buy Elmore Leonard's story. The container for that story could be some raggedy-ass paperback we find ina garbage can behind Macy's, or some flash drive, or a floppy disk, or a hard drive, or a stack of pretty white typing paper, or a fancy-dan custom-made genuine tailor-made ostrich-skin audio book.

    We buy the story. The container just keeps the words from spilling out on the bleeding floor!

    I got lots of books. I got so many books that i stick them in cardboard boxes and forget I even got them. I buy duplicates to books I already got because I forgot I bought them before. I give full grocery bags of real books to my library. I keep books, too. I got Megan Abbott's autograph on one of hers, a Bob Crais autographed book, even a Ross Macdonald book he signed. I also go to the library, sit in a chair and read a book and never take it out -- just leave it behind for the next guy.

    The story. That's what's important. The story.

    The first story GILGAMESH was carved on stone. Stone was its container.

    OMG, I can read GILGAMESH on my computer! The monitor ... must be the container. (Huh?)

    An e-reader is a new type of container. Like ... papyrus.

    You know, they got this new-fangled thing called radio. Why, I bet, once radio gets e-stablished, folks will stop going to the movie houses, and nobody will ever see AVATAR once it comes out.

    Get a grip, guys. There is no apocalypse. Stories are not going away.

    And if a writer can make $2.58 on a story that's been sitting on his hard-drive for ten years, fantastic!

    Why, that's two pieces of toast and a cup of coffee at Panera! He can sit there and write another story.

    Fred Zackel


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