Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Evil Genius of Nook

While I am referencing the Barnes and Noble product, the Nook, this post is directed broadly at all e-books. It is dog-related only in the fact that I own dogs and dislike the Nook.  Bear in mind that at one time I also disliked the Blackberry, aka: Crackberry, but that was before one apparently became surgically attached to me. However, as I was reading the old fashioned way over the breakfast table this morning, my mind wandered-- as it often does-- and I pondered (a real book word if ever there was one!) the demise of the paper paged book in this electronic age.

I came to the realization that e-books are part of an evil plot not only to strip us of our individuality but to set up this nation to be further controlled by media. You heard it here first, boys and girls!  Or if not, it's only because I have been busy reading books and training dogs, and didn't see it posted on Entertainment Tonight.

There was a time when we were identified by the books we carried and people made assumptions based on them.  If I carried the biography of Sarah Palin, people would assume I was a right wing supporter.  Tuck a copy of one of Obama's hope-and-change missives and folks would likewise view me as Democrat brother in arms.  Want to appear upwardly mobile? Perhaps something by Stephen Covey would appeal to you.  And if you are preparing to fly then make a selection that might evoke commentary or interest from a suitable seat-mate.  Most certainly, you would not be found boarding with a copy of "My with Osama Bin Laden" or "how to explode planes in mid-air".

With the advent of e-books, all that has changed.  See someone carrying one of those little babies, and you have no idea what is contained inside.  The gentleman across the aisle on your next flight could, indeed, be reading the recipe for combining ingredients for an explosive and pulling up charts on the optimum placement.  You don't know if they are reading "War and Peace' or an autobiography on Adam Sandler.  Which may be why e-book owners are left to personalize the product with snappy little covers.  If you can't read the book, at least check out my cover!

Naturally, I realize that the same could be said for laptops and the fact that e-books are nothing more than laptops just for books, so some of this is simply facetious.  The real core of the matter is the loss of paper pages and bound books, and sitting in a comfy chair at Barnes and Noble admist the comforting smells of other books.  Does it really have the same effect to imagine assorted customers, lounging about, reading from their e-books?  Not to me.

E-books do not encourage sharing.  They reward recruitment.  You cannot freely exchange books with friends or acquaintances; those can only be shared between members of the same e-book cult.  Nook members share with Nooksters, and Kindles only share with kindlers... you get the picture. You actually purchase a viewing license, not a book. It isn't yours. It belongs to Da Man.  There was a movement a few years back that I recall, where a person would leave a book they enjoyed but no longer wanted in a public area for any other person to pick up and enjoy, and the progress of the books was tracked on a website.  Imagine doing that with an e-book? hahahaaa! "Nook left on bench at bus station. No location subsequently noted.."

As to the downfall of humanity, if all books are maintained electronically then once you pull that plug and limit energy usage (and thus, recharging) or simply stop producing books for electronic media OR control whose books you produce then our knowledge of a world outside ourselves will be limited by the puppetmasters.  I know this sounds much like a whispered conspiracy theory, but if you recall, there was a time when knowledge and power were controlled by not allowing everyone to learn to read.  Now that we know how to read, the only control mechanism is restricting what we can access to read.

When that happens, I will still have my fine collection of hard-bound books.  And your battery dies or your power goes out, or the flight attendant advises you to power-off electronic devices, I will be reading my books. To my Barnes and Noble compatriots I say "do not abandon the paper page." May they continue long past the expiration of this... ahem... electronic blog.