First UltraViolet. Then Google +. Well, actually neither of these was first—tech initiatives cease to exist all the time. Giants aren’t immune to extinction, it seems. I’ve got to be careful with my confessions toward Luddite sympathies since, as it turns out, tech is king. Emperor, in fact. But since tech only works as long as society holds together, I still want paper knowledge in my library. I don’t own a Kindle and despite what visitors say, I don’t want to “save room” by getting rid of books. I like books. I wink at them from across the room. Sidle up to them when in private. Get to know them intimately. Books are a way of life. If the grid breaks down, I’ll have books to read and candles to do it by. For a while there I even made my own candles, although most of those were used up in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
You see, my hairs bristle when I hear tech experts complain that “authors should be taught to write in XML.” Said techies have apparently never written a book. Ideas, you see, flow. When you’re in the zone, there’s no stopping to mark-up your text. In fact, the best, purest kind comes in scribbles on paper with misspelled words and all. You can hold it in your hands and remember the Muse who had you at the time. For me the hours of inspiration are before dawn. I mostly use a computer now, but I can still find myself typing too slow to keep up with manic inspiration, desperate to record my ideas before paid work starts. Work is the Medea of creativity—both mother and slayer. Once I login I check out. I need to wait for another day to dawn.
We’ve invested heavily in technology. The internet is largely responsible for the globalization against which the world has recently rebelled. No matter how many times people like me say we love books somebody will say, “Have you considered a Kindle?” Why? I bought a house as a place to keep my books. These little bricks are bits of my mind. Pieces of my soul! What we read makes us who we are. The last person who said the remark about authors learning XML literally sighed with disgust as he said it. How could, you could feel him thinking, anyone be so backward as to think this is a problem? I recall Hurricane Sandy. Sitting in an apartment lit by candles we’d made ourselves, we read old-fashioned books and were eerily content.