Archive for January, 2012
As I read Michael Sims’ article Remembering the Golden Age in context to the words of Striphas I begin to see the idea of books as being treasures. Striphas discusses the claim that corporate bookstores are only in it for the money, while independent bookstores are in it for the joy of reading and books. After reading Sims’ article I recognize there are somethings Large scale book stores won’t carry because they are neither popular or time relevant any more. Large scale bookstores keep their shelves stocked with books that they know or think people will want, so the chances of finding a book from your childhood is highly unlikely. Independent bookstores on the other hand often have a large selection of “old” books, which may ignite a childhood memory. I believe both independent bookstores and Large scale bookstore care about books, but there are some treasures which can only be found in independent bookstores.
In chapter 2 and 3 Striphas discusses the introduction of large-scale bookstores such as Border and Barnes & Nobles, which he refers to as “Big-box” bookstores. Striphas focuses on the claim that “Big-box” bookstores are the reason behind independent bookstores failing due to competition. The failing of independently owned stores to big corporate chains is nothing new. Many neighborhoods still refuse the allowance of Walmart because they believe it will cause the failing of many local establishments.
“The implication here is clear enough: “real” bookstores care about economics only as a means to an end, namely, staying in business, so that they can deliver worthwhile books to intelligent, community-minded people. Large-scale corporate booksellers, on the other hand, see economics as an end in itself. Fast, cheap, and en masse are their guiding principles.”
I found this passage interesting because it makes the claim that corporate bookstores such as Barnes and Noble only care about making a profit, while independent bookstores are interested in spreading the joy of books. I believe even “Big-box” bookstores care about spreading the worthwhile of books and reading. I often spent hours in Borders reading and learning without having to by a book.
It is true that large-scale bookstores can present harsh competition, but they are not the only cause for independent bookstores failing. Even Border a large scale bookstore that received booming business in my area was forced to close down along with the rest of their stores. Competition is a part of business and even effects major corporations.
Reading The Late Age of Print by Ted Striphas he discusses several topics regarding our transition into the digital reading world. Striphas makes note that we are a digital culture in which, “The buzz of electronic media predominates. (2)” As Striphas intrudes our shift into the world of e-books he notes key moments in their introduction to the populous. One of these key moments was an experiment using Stephen King’s new novella. What caught my attention was not the success of King’s e-book, but King’s decision later decision to cancel his second e-book.
“Stephen King’s decision, in December 2000, to discontinue writing his second e-book, The Plant, after the number of those who had downloaded installments from his Web site without paying had grown too high by his estimation.” (p. 20)
This passage truly caught my attention because it reflects the major debate we are currently experiencing with Internet piracy and the government’s attempt to crack down on it (Sopa Bill). I never thought of e-books being pirated, but as I think about it anything digital or found on the net can be obtained for free. Striphas makes it clear that he takes no side between print and digital text, but he recognizes that each medium has their benefits and drawbacks.
Handwriting. This was the bane of my life all through childhood. Going to a private school I was forced to learn how write cursive and print. I never saw the point of it and it always annoyed me. I figured, as I grew older people would let it go but it only got worse. My mom still jumps on me about my childish handwriting and my response always remains the same. I don’t need to write I type everything.
I could never imagine any young boy especially in the technological age we live in loving to write as much as this handwriting champ. I was forced to practice day and night but I could never achieve the fondness of writing this champ has.
The Time article introduces an idea of why handwriting has declined and the art has began to dwindle. When the author, Claire Suddath, referred to handwriting as an art I thought about it and realized it was an art in sense. I found it interesting that she analyzed each generation in an attempt of following the trends of handwriting over the last couple decades. While handwriting will always remain I agree Garcia’s worry over the future of cursive. I find that cursive is an ever-dying writing form and I find myself at times having a hard time reading it. I believe that some more artful styles of writing will begin dwindle until they are eventually practiced by very few.
With new technology always comes the annoyance of having to adapt to its new complicated way of maneuvering. Looking at the video Medieval Helpdesk I found my self-relating to this humorous depiction of advancements in technology. Technology is great but sometimes it can leave us completely confused as the book left the poor man in the video.
As I look at the readings selected for us to read I began to wonder what was the purpose of it all. Looking at the list of readings selected by our professor (Dr. Jerz) I chose to begin with the last one (It was the shortest).
Looking at this text I began to create an idea of why we were asked to look at this text. It is no secret that Literature and writing can be interpreted many ways and these various styles of text explore the emerging concept in literary criticism known as The Death of an Author.
Each text looks at the same concept using a different form of writing including pop-culture, academic and a short story. I do not consider myself to be a writer but I believe there is some truth and fault with this concept.
I do believe that not every writer places themselves within their own story, but at the same time personal experiences and opinions will make their way into what they write. There is no helping it. I believe the writer cannot be completely thrown out of the mind when analyzing their works, but at the same time one cannot scrutinize every word written in relation to the author’s life.