Wednesday, April 27, 2011
There's been a fair bit of chatter, the past couple of days, not only about the launch of Barnes and Noble's newly updated Nook Color tablet-style e-reader, but also about the ad campaign for it. With the tagline "read forever" it depicts folks (for instance in the above and below images) reading both print and ebooks. It has some snappy language, too, about reading "by hook or by crook, by Nook or by book." Actually, this all resonates quite a bit with some thoughts I was thinking, here, about digital books the other day. Just goes to show, I guess, that none of us think in a vacuum. We're all partaking of the zeitgeist all the time, whether we know it or not.
Anyhow, I found it interesting that this message, the command to read, which used to be the province of American Library Association PSA posters (and as such always came across as a little dorky, a little do-good-y) is now being promulgated by those in the book business. Those old 80s and 90s posters, it turns out, are surprisingly difficult to find good images of online. But I did find a few...
Actually, I remember hearing a while back that the big concern, all through the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s, that television would destroy literacy, has abated somewhat in recent years because of the advent of the internet, email, instant messaging, and texting--apparently people now read far more words per day than they have for decades, if not longer. Of course, that's mostly people who have access to computers. Something we're all too prone to forget is the fact that that's still far from being everybody. I'm sure the computer will eventually be like the phone or the tv, something that's in pretty much every house regardless of income level, but we're not there yet. And by the time we are, who knows, maybe it won't involve reading anymore, it'll all just be brainwaves or whatnot.
Amusingly, it turns out the ALA is still hard at work making those celebrity reading posters. Sometimes with unintentionally hilarious results:
But, ultimately, I think my favorite image advocating reading (though those Muppets are a close second) is this one: