The Idler Calendar

Take Your Time in 2015

All the trouble in the world is caused by people who want to change things too quickly — more haste, less speed, as the saying goes. Our collective resolution for 2015 will be to take our time, okay?

Let's all write this in the January 1 square of our spiffing new Idler Calendars for 2015:

"Take your time. Read The Tweed Pig. Ditto rest of year."

Cool People Love Real Books

I have to share this anecdote relayed by Tom Hodgkinson of The Idler from his recent Idler newsletter — as it confirms my own bias. He was explaining the continuous popularity of printed Idler books when we are being told the printed word is dead and we should switch to ebooks. I seem to remember a similar thing happened with recorded music. We were told to ditch our vinyl records, despite the fact it was the best format to hear music (particularly on one of these). Thanks goodness some people refuse to go with the flow.

The anecdote:

The death of the book was an idea enthusiastically promoted, weirdly, by the chairman of... Penguin Books. Here he is talking at a conference in 2010 (note the undignified use of the phrase "this cool stuff" and the way he calls books "content"):

"We will be embedding audio, video and streaming in everything we do. The 'epub' format, which is the standard for ebooks at the present, is designed to support traditional narrative text, but not this cool stuff that we're now talking about. So for the time being at least, we'll be creating a lot of our content as applications, for sale on app stores and HTML, rather than in ebooks. The definition of the book itself is up for grabs."

What an unutterable load of hogwash that turned out to be. Everyone knows that the cool people love real books and don't want a load of embedded video in their copy of Pride and Prejudice. And the chairman of Penguin Books should stick to selling books, and not trying to reinvent himself as some sort of Silicon Valley dot com guy. Next thing we know, he'll be removing his tie and wearing training shoes to meetings.


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