Warning: This is a rant.
Book Fair Buzz Is Not Contained Between 2 Covers
by MOTOKO RICH (NY Times) :
At a panel of authors speaking mainly to independent booksellers, Sherman Alexie, the National Book Award-winning author of “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” said he refused to allow his novels to be made available in digital form. He called the expensive reading devices “elitist” and declared that when he saw a woman sitting on the plane with a Kindle on his flight to New York, “I wanted to hit her.”
I’m sorry, but this sort of thinking gives me hives. Why would he want to hit a woman whose only “crime” is reading a Kindle? “I don’t like e-readers, so no one else is allowed to use them.” What kind of intolerant crap is this? What is it about using a Kindle that marks this woman for physical abuse? Wait. Is it because she had the money to buy one? Her ability to purchase something expensive makes her elitist? Good grief, since when was it someone else’s beeswax to determine what we do with our hard-earned money? Who gives a flying rabbit turd what medium someone chooses to read a book? Furthermore, who died and put Sherm in charge?
I adore my Kindle. Why should I be feel apologetic for having the bucks to buy one? I travel a lot, and I can stash a slew of books and all my submissions on it. I can make the font bigger for my tired eyes. Crikey, it’s not like I ripped the money out of some poor soul’s mouth in order to feed my greedy whims. I earned it. If Sherman wants to rail against the electronic book format because he doesn’t want to see physical books die, then say so. But how dare he spout this “if I can’t afford it, then you shouldn’t have it.”Does Sherman speak for all America? If so, I missed the memo.
According to Sherman’s skewed way of thinking, this means that if I can afford to buy a Mercedes (I totally can’t) that I shouldn’t buy one because Sherman or some other green-eyed monster can’t afford one. It’s elitist. This is nothing more than jealousy propped up to make people feel guilty for being affluent. And it’s crap.
Since when is having money a crime? I see it as a badge of honor for someone’s hard work. If you have the money, go out and buy a Kindle. Or a Mercedes. Or a Yugo, if that floats your boat. But do not be suckered into allowing someone to foist their perception of right and wrong on you. It’s none of their damn business, and Sherm needs to get a freaking life.
As for the electronic format, publishing is evolving, and if the public desires are such that this medium is growing more popular, then publishers will meet that demand. Why the fear, screeching, and tearing hair out? Books will never die. Reading will never die. In the wise words of that rat bastid Dr. Raymond Cocteau from Demolition Man, “enhance your calm.”
And, Sherm? Take a chill pill, dude.