Statistics have shown that since e-readers hit the market, people have re-embraced reading. I'm not a fan of e-readers; I'd rather nurse my hernia and carry a book. I've never had a problem lugging a hardcover edition of any book with me. My motto has always been, walk softly and carry a big purse. Although, on size 10 feet, I'm not that soft of a walker. Regardless, my big feets allow me to handle a larger load than your average person, so toting a book has never been a big deal. But now that technology has threatened to send books the way of the LP and the CD, I'm growing quite concerned. How zen does life have to be? My records and CDs are in storage, but wherever I go, my books go with me. That's the way it's always been, and that's the way it shall remain.
There have always been reams of crap on the bookshelves, technology notwithstanding; but when people like Levi Johnston and Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi are getting book deals, you have to wonder why. I don't have an answer; I'm not a publisher. I actually attempted to ask that question of someone who works for one of the big publishing houses and didn't get an answer. I'm not sure if he just couldn't be bothered, or if he was too embarrassed to acknowledge my query. I won't name names, but the individual works for the publishing house that brought us Snooki's tome. You can find that information very easily on your own.
I've always referred to worthless books as "tree killers". Now, I guess they can be considered gigabyte killers as well. If you're willing to let dreck such as Snooki's ghost-written tell all take up room on your e-reader, well you just won't have room for Madame Bovary or Pride and Prejudice, will you? Not that I believe the individuals who read the classics would bother reading anything having to do with Snooki.
When I got wind of Levi Johnston's coming tell-all, I pretty well lost my mind. I have to worry about recycling every possible scrap of paper (I even get most of my mail online), and this guy gets to write a book? Hell, I love me some good Sarah Palin dirt, but I'm not willing to pay 30 bucks for it. Who really cares what the idiot who knocked up her daughter has to say? Apparently enough people to warrant a book deal. And it's not like he's gonna be starving...his ex-future mother-in-law has made millions. Yet, for writers, getting a book deal is about as likely as getting struck by lightning; although the way the publishing industry is conducting itself these days, if I was looking for a book deal, I'd be spending a lot more time outside.
Like many things in life, what gets published and what doesn't has about as much rhyme or reason to it as why anyone would want to ghostwrite for Levi and Snooki. I won't even venture to guess why people want to read these kinds of books, because there has always been an audience for them. They are the latest in the genre of tell-all trash. I've read my share of those over the course of my life, and I will never pick up another one. It kills me that there are so many talented writers out there who have adopted rejection as a lifestyle, and getting a book deal has become an instantaneous rite of passage for anyone still in the middle of their 15 minutes of fame. How many trees have to die in order for this trend to go on surviving?
I'm hoping that books won't go the way of the dinosaurs. I love to surround myself with them. E-readers may very well save the trees, but if the humans who run the publishing world could resist the urge to flood the market with so much crap, we won't become a society that forgets how to turn a page.