People love to read. It’s that simple. The end.
Okay, maybe not ‘the end’… but close to it. And for the most part, the medium does matter! …and sometimes, it doesn’t. Welcome to the debate on ‘paper vs. digital’. But in actuality, the truth is this: what debate? It’s been several years and conclusions for both sides have already been made – folks who still love real books STILL buy real books. And folks who love e-readers still buy megabytes? electron-crust? interstellar dandruff? (or whatever pdfs are made of!) for that purpose. And some of us do both: paper annnd, uh, internet-abracadabra (or whatever pdfs are made of!) In fact, if you’re even reading this post at all, then you’re doing so using one electrical device or another.
BUT REAL BOOKS ARE MADE OF MAGIC AND DON’T YOU EVER FORGET IT!!!
But we’re a bookstore, we believe in the power of print media. Are we biased? Yep, no doubt… but so are our patrons, they absolutely love books/they adore books; they are, in fact, acolytes for the printing press. Yes, for them: BOOKS ARE INDEED MADE OF MAGIC! And everyday they enter our store testifying that very fact.
But not just books, they read newsprint as well. And apparently, A LOT OF NEWSPRINT. They clip out newsprint, xerox it, and pass it around. They bring extra copies of such articles to us as gifts, placating the Gutenberg Gods from which we originate. And we know for an absolute fact that our book-reading patrons read newsprint just as voraciously because once a day for the last 2 months we’ve heard this exact phrase, or something very close to it: “I just read about you in the paper; congratulations!” And I mean every single day for the last 2 and a half months, since the very first week in May when our friend, Journey McAndrews (Kentucky Monthly), graciously featured us in her article about Meadowthorpe’s communal diversity, to then be followed a scant 2 weeks later by Erik Rust‘s (Business Lexington) article on the vitality of Lexington’s used-book resellers. Friends-of-The-Fig came swarming through our doors to share in the excitement of those featured articles. And when Merlene Davis‘ (Lexington Herald-Leader) wonderful article about us came out in mid-June, it capped everything off! And since then many good folks have entered The Wild Fig, congratulating us and quoting at least one of those 3 sources as to how they’d heard about us. It’s been amazing… and humbling… and an honest testament to the power and strength of the written word printed on paper (yes, completely glossing over the fact that the highlighted names of each writer sends you directly to an internet facsimile of their print article; maybe i shoulda linked you to their subscription pages, instead!).
THE PRINT INDUSTRY IS NOT IN DECLINE – only the readers of print are in decline. And this is not because the quality of the word printed onto paper has devalued, but because the advertising budget designed to lure new consumers to electronic reading devices is in the billions-of-dollars range. Is the price of a brand new hardback book too high? In comparison to what? It IS a tangible commodity, like a good meal at a great restaurant (or a family meal for four at a lousy one), or like the vinyl records we gave up on but remember fondly to our children WHO STILL PURCHASE VINYL RECORDS…. …or like the e-books made of $10 incorporeal-internet-dandruff (and not magic, I must remind you!) that cease to exist if we squint too hard – - – - but i digress.
As i said, I’m biased. Deeply, deeply biased.
But this post isn’t intended to open up the digital vs print debates because, as I’ve said, we’ve all already made our decisions about it… this post is here only to PRAISE those of us holding true to the art form of the printed word, we exist only for you, we are here at your service; you can count on that!
THANK YOU: to our new customers and to our loyal patrons. And an extra special THANK YOU to Journey, Erik, and Merlene for their exemplary skills highlighting the virtues of us brick-n-mortars; people are reading yall’s work in abundance, in digital AND in print. AND THERE’S NO DEBATE ABOUT THAT.
And to those of yall out there flirting with the new-age gumfoolery of e-devices – go ahead; try it out; it’ll be okay… the REAL MAGIC will still be here, waiting for you like an old friend or a faithful lover. Or like a bill-collector… however you want to see it!
Real real-books: in your hands to do with as you will, because while e-books are for convenience, real real-books are for your pleasure.