The Announcement of My Death Was Premature: a Traditional Book Speaks Out


Many have written my obituary, on more platforms than you can imagine; in old media newspapers, new media blogs, on-line magazines, e-alerts for smart phones. You name the venue and someone has rechoiced at or opined about my demise.

But most of the blather has been misdirected. True, books are evolving, but more in the way that birds and reptiles evolved from a common ancestor. Aspects of the DNA of one organism remains genetically inbedded in the other.

That’s what’s happening with me. Part of my DNA has been spliced, creating spin-offs that will diverge from me, blurring our connection until it becomes almost invisible. Within a short span, children will be enjoying interactive “experiences” that include text, pictures, embedded video, soundtracks, a plethora of options. A paper-bound book will seem as unrelatated to these as chiseled hieroglyphics seems to modern word processing.

But I will survive, surprisingly intact. Of course, I am not immune to the force of evolutionary change.  Already many experience me via dedicated ebook readers, tablets and phones, and wipeable, changeable smart paper beckons from the horizon.

But my magic remains undimmed by these new methods of access. I still have the power to transport a child or its parent into a world of mystical wonder, where pirates battle brigands, where grieving daughters mourn fathers, where a son seeks vengeance for an untimely murder.

I myself provide a unique experience: the opportunity to actually lose yourself in the words. No other medium can do that. And no technological innovation can destroy the siren song of my power.

So do not fret. Not only am I alive and well–in a world of thechnological cacophony, I’m growing stronger.