Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Poignant words from a Picker.

I was watching American Pickers. The two hosts of the show are in Malibu, CA and they meet a guy who says he has over 550,000 record albums. They are too stunned, and frankly frightened, to even begin to look through them so they skip over them. 

But, the one guy says a few words about vinyl that I found very memorable and thought provoking.

He says today you just click a button and you instantly download a song or a whole album to your electronic device.

But, when he was younger there was a more personal relationship with the music. 

You took the record out of the jacket. You put it on your record player and set the needle. While it was cueing up you looked at the album cover art. As it started to play the first song you checked out the band notes and song lists. If you were lucky it even included the lyrics.

He felt there was more of a connection with the artist and their music. 

That rang completely true with me.

I'm just old enough that the first music I ever purchased was on vinyl. It wasn't long before cassettes came out and once they did I never looked back.

But, even with cassettes and CD's the music was in your hand. You were excited to open the case and see if the band wrote anything to the fans in the little booklet. 

I don't know if I would feel that same excitement by just downloading music from the internet. I haven't had the opportunity.

I have downloaded a few e-books to my computer. Less than 10. I have read most of them. I do like the convenience and of course the instant gratification.

But, I miss the pages. I miss holding the book. I miss throwing in a bookmark when I reluctantly have to put it down. I miss carrying it to the porch or into the bedroom to sneak in a few more pages.

Real books will always be my favorite.

Will I stop downloading? No.

Will I eventually buy an e-reader? Probably not. 

Carina Press is giving away an e-book for free each day this week. Free free. Sign up. Use the daily promo code. Download. 

So, long winded post I know, but does anyone care to share their thoughts?


  1. I will always read a "real" book. I will never read a book on a screen.

    But I do love to down-load songs to my IPod... kind of weird how that works--love technology in one thing, but not the other--go figure.

  2. I used to think I'd never get an ereader then I got one. I LOVE my Kindle.

    I can bring an 800 page book to work to read at lunch without lugging an eight pound book and advertising my reading preferences to anyone who walks by. I can read the same book in bed without having to hold up a thick book.

    I can dog ear sections and make notes without feeling guilty.

    I don't have to leave space in my luggage for poolside books when on vacation.

    There is something to be said for real books and I will continue buying books in series that I started on paper or books i would buy in paperback, but any new stuff that i would buy in hardcover is now an e book purchase.

    Give a kindle a shot with something big like "Pillars of the Earth" or "The Stand", and you'll be a convert.

    One Caveat... Its gotta be a real e-ink reader not a color or LCD screen. Those would be tough to read for more than an hour or two.

    If someone made an e-ink computer screen for word processing I'd buy it in a heartbeat.

  3. totally agree with you. unfortunately, with us trying to save the planet i see paper going away. artists and musicians will have to find a way to connect. they still make "covers" they could have e-snippets for us about the music, too

  4. I love my nook. I was one of those people who said, "I'll always read actual books." After reading books on my nook for over a year, there's no going back for me.

    P.S. I do miss the posters that came with vinyl albums. I had a few taped inside my bedroom closet during high school...

  5. For a long time I said I'd never get an e-reader... and then my mom got a Kindle, and I had to get one, too.

    It doesn't replace "real" books for me, though. I still buy the same amount of paper books as I always did... only now I spend money on ebooks, too. And if I really love a book, I'll buy two copies, one for my Kindle, and one for the bookshelf.

    I do know what you mean about albums though. The very first record I bought was Whitney Houston back in 1985. I couldn't stop staring at her as I played the record.

  6. I love to physically hold the book in my hand. I'll probably get a kindle sooner or later, but as long as I can still get the paper book, I'll continue.

    And I agree about the music. I also grew up with vinyls before the cassettes came out and it really was something special. My mom still has stacks upon stacks of old country vinyls

  7. Wow. See. Different reasons for both sides.

    I thought of this too. I don't always buy books. Sometimes I do but I use the library a lot.

    One day when I'm rich and famous I will buy more books. That will be nice.

    Thanks for leaving your comments!!

  8. There's something to be said about the visceral nature of analog, and I think you've done an excellent job opening the conversation.

    By the way, love the new blog look.

  9. Robert - Thank you! I bet you recall vinyl a little more than I do but I remember playing all of M&D's records and Aunt Alison's 45's. Of course she only had The Beatles!

    I prefer the new blog look myself. Not as dark and mysterious but not too fluffy either.
    Thanks for coming!

  10. I recall frequently filching Father's Wish You Were Here album by Pink Floyd and playing it on the Fisher Price phonograph we had in the basement. I'm sure that was a sure-fire way of not preserving the fidelity of the album, but I couldn't help myself.

    Here's a far more interesting factoid from those days of old, I had a long standing debate with Father regarding the merits of 8 Track versus Cassette Tapes. He was staunchly supporting the former while I advocated the latter. Somewhat of a litter versus chariot debate by today's standards, no?

  11. I believe Chris had a similar discussion about VHS and BETA with his family.

    Then he and I had that same conversation about DVD and Blu-Ray.

    Got to love technology!


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