And the medium, contra McLuhan, is only dimly connected to the message:
Ah, the wails of anguish. The frenzied wringing of hands. The prophesies of imminent doom.
We’ve heard them before.
“Oh, woe, nobody is reading the good stuff chiseled on stone or engraved in clay any more. It’s all that damned papyrus crap!”
“Oh, woe. Nobody is reading scrolls any more. It’s all that book bindery crap!”
“Oh, woe. Nobody is reading books any more. It’s all that digital book crap!”
Now before some of you — and I know some of you will — chime in with your personal preference for imbibing information only from the well-thumbed pages of your beautiful leather-bound book, whilst sipping a bit of brandy or sherry and inhaling the (likely carcinogenic) dusty smell of ancient paper, well, you read books.
I make the damned things. Or at least I make the combinations of words strung together that make of books something more than a deck of blank, useless pages. (Although I’m sure even blank pages are perfectly good for sniffing the lovely aromas.)
And I don’t give an anorexic ratfuck about how you read what I create, as long as you read it.
I was taught, decades ago, that there’s only one phrase an author likes better than “I read your last book.”
And that is “I bought your last book.”