The art of the analog

On August 29, 2010, in offtopic, by

The new kindle reviews are coming in.

In reading Mark’s review of the new kindle, and now two days into ownership myself, the pros of the Kindle (or any ebook reader for that matter).. is the instantaneous gratification of an immediate book purchase.

But you know the one thing I miss… and I miss this in my Zune/iTunes experience as well, something I’m going to call the “art of the analog”.  I’m of that old fuddy duddy generation that actually remembers what an Album cover looks like.  And as we’ve progressed into our march to all digital it’s the art of the covers of things that I miss the most.

Take album covers.  Even in the cd era it’s hard to replace the large square area of space that could be artwork on one side, and background stories on the other. 

And sometimes it’s the dumbest album covers that stick in your mind.  When I was a very little girl my Sister had an album done by Bobby Sherman.  What?  You’ve never heard of Bobby Sherman?  Take Justin Bieber’s hair, but make him older and is voice lower and you got Bobby Sherman.  Teenaged girls would faint in his presence.

My sister had his album cover in her bedroom and it was always creeping us out as his eyes felt like they were following you around the room.  Watching you.  Needless to say the album cover would invaribly end up on the bottom of the stack or flipped upside down so as to not weird us out.  Then there were the fold out inserts that was near book like in it’s detail of the album.  CDs came close to duplicating that insert experience, digitial just doesn’t have liner notes.  Oh sure Zune can have a link to a review, or album info, but it doesn’t compare to pulling out the glossy insert and reading while the music you just purchased enters your ears.

And then there’s the art of the front of the book.

The one thing I notice I miss the most when moving to e-readers is the cover of a book.  No more than 4 inches wide and 6 inches tall at times, it would give a glimpse into the magic of what lie ahead.  I remember when I was a teenager, during summers I would read books.  One summer was the “classics” summer and I tore through The Count of Monte Cristo, the Three Musketeers, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice and so one.  But there was one book that I just never got into.  Great Expectations.  I still remember to this day that unlike my paperback versions of The Count of Monte Cristo and the other classics that had merely one dramatic color image of the action that lie inside in the book and in my imagination, Great Expectations had a white and black pencil sketch cover.  I just never could get excited about that book because the cover just never drew me into the story.

Shallow isn’t it? 

Of course the image of Miss Havisham, rats and a dining room table may have lessened my zeal for Dickens as well.

So the digital lifestyle has a different and very good experience… but I’d still say that analog still has elements in it that just can’t be replicated in electronic ink.

Not yet anyway.


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