I have just started reading ‘Print is Dead – Books in our Digital Age,’ by Jeff Gomez. This book explores the future of books, with Gomez being an advocate of ebooks. I think it is fair to say that Gomez sees a future where the traditional book is little more than a relic of the past. This is certainly a view I would agree with for a number of reasons, though I do believe the traditional book will hold on for some time to come (how long I cannot say). I believe Gomez would hold to the same view from what I have read thus far (to the end of chapter 1).
In the first chapter, ‘byte flight,’ Gomez accurately sums up the situation in the traditional book vs ebook debate. There are certainly plenty of people (I was once one) who cannot see the ebook winning the battle (if we can call it a battle) and who hold a romantic attachment of sorts to the traditional book. I think this will continue to be the case among older generations for some time yet, with many older people reluctant to ‘move with the times (such a my mother and her husband).’ There are a number of reasons for this and Gomez describes some of these reluctant views in the first chapter. Overall, opposition to the dominance of the ebook is termed as ‘byte flight,’ and is probably as good a term as any to use.
Gomez believes that the younger generations will lead the way for the dominance of the ebook and in this I think he is largely correct. The digital generations are more likely to read digital books and use digital gadgets and as this grows more and more the norm, ebooks will become more and more dominant at the expense of traditional books.
I have just finished watching the mini series ‘John Adams,’ starring Paul Giamatti as John Adams and Laura Linney as Abigail Adams. I found the mini series to be difficult to watch, as it was hardly brilliant drama despite the rhetoric on the DVD case. Not being American was perhaps a reason for my lack of enthusiasm for the mini series. I found it to be a disappointment as a viewing spectacle. But how true to the man and to history was the mini series? This is a question that now has my attention – for the portrayal of John Adams in the production was hardly that of a man to be admired.
Adams comes across as a self-centred, vain glorious man, with poor people skills and a terrible father and husband. He appears to seek his own advancement to the expense of those about him and also to be full of envy and petty jealousy. He also appears to be a somewhat poor diplomat and politician overall – even though he held the greatest office in the United States, as second president following that of George Washington.
So now I come to the book on which this mini series was based, ‘John Adams,’ by David McCullough. I am now going to read this book and see just how true to the book and actual events the mini series achieved. I find it difficult to believe that Adams could have been the way he was protrayed in the film – now I will seek out the truth for myself.