Friday, November 2, 2007

So that's why my bookcases are so full...

I earn my daily crust in the world of digital publishing. Given the opportunity I will happily talk about all the advantages and cool stuff you can do with digital content. (like post this to multiple blogs using a single editing tool.) In fact I tend to think that today we are living in the "promised world" that I've been looking forward to in my twenty plus years of being in Corporate Publishing - the technology has at last caught up to the potential. But that's possibly a subject for a whole other post.

Yet when I wear my other hat as a freelance writer it's mainly for print publications. Give me a spare half-hour and you will likely find me hanging out in a traditional bookstore. In fact just last night I was sat in the coffee shop area of my local Barnes & Noble, working away with pen and note pad on a pitch for a graphic novel, while just a few feet away on a nearby shelf sat several copies of the book containing my recent James Bond feature.

I just can't get enough of print. I still read literally hundreds of print magazines a year and average over a book a week. But why, when I spend a large proportion of my life expounding the virtues of digital publishing does ink on paper have such a hold?

Today a print copy of the latest Seybold Report landed on my desk and my eyes immediately drifted to an article entitled "Is Print Sexy?" by Laruel Brunner. In the article Brunner eloquently managed to sum up the appeal of print. Here's a few choice extracts that I think best sum up my own views.

We trust print's permanence and we rely on print to document our world truthfully and to accurately enshrine our most precious values and ideas of the world around us. We believe, rightly or not, that it provides our foundation for fact. It's how we preserve and revere our collective experience and perceptions .......print is uniquely physical. Like all media it expresses concepts, ideas and information, but it stimulates response using more subtle, tactile techniques. We have a singularly intimate and physical relationship with print, because it appeals to virtually all of our senses. The look of a magazine, the smell of a new book.. all stimulate us visually and sensually. We love the look, smell and feel of print and of course its practicality. Print is portable and robust, it's accessible and easy to use...A shelf full of books is a collection of old friends who will never disappoint us and who remind us of who we were and of worlds long gone, showing us how we have become who we are....All of life is about stimulation and response, and print is all about life.

I couldn't have said it better myself.

Powered by ScribeFire.