I was leaving Home Depot yesterday and saw a homeless person reading a Kindle. Not a throw-away rag, a newspaper, a magazine or book. A Kindle.
For me, it was a “Hemingway moment,” my slang for brief existential events that give me pause for whatever reason. In this case, I finally realized in my heart that the digital revolution in publishing has bulldozed from top to bottom without slowing down. I heard last week—old news now—that Amazon is selling more ebooks than mass-market paperbacks. If this isn’t true, I’m sure it will be soon.
Novels and stories morphing into bytes on the Internet isn’t good or bad news for writers. People still like to read good (and bad) books whether on paper or a screen. It’s sad, however, that bookstores will inevitably decline in number or transmogrify into chrome and plastic resembling video rental stores. When I go in a bookstore and browse, I get a sense of magic and relaxation, even in a chain.
Tomorrow, I’m going back to Home Depot, find that homeless dude and ask him what he’s reading.
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