Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Another Perspective

I admit it; I fall behind on my TV shows, which is why there wasn't a blog last week (not really) and why I am a faithful worshiper of the Church of Digital Video Recorders. My biggest sin: I am behind on The Colbert Report.

Watching the show from December 1st, I was stunned to see Stephen interview Sherman Alexie, the author of 'War Dances.' Alexie was great, a Native American poking fun at the white guys. But this blog entry is not about Native Americans or white guys.

As you have seen, I am proud that Oilspill dotcom is now available as an e-book, available in all formats that exist today. I am doing my bit to save the planet. Even if I can't afford a Prius, I am taking bold steps to save the trees, energy in production and distribution, and able to help provide free copies of my e-books for our soldiers.

So I was kind of taken aback when Alexie advocated against the e-book revolution (my embellishment, not his). He will not publish his book in electronic form because:
- He fears that we are giving the government the ability to control what we read, write, see and listen to.
- It makes our work vulnerable to piracy
- It prevents any physical contact between author and reader, a relationship that he sees as essential for both sides
- It takes away revenue from independent bookstores already on the brink of extinction
- It prevents any celebration of books within the community

I want to take issue with Alexie, but I have two problems: he is correct, and he is very cool.

So I will take a week for rebuttal, and if I can't build a case, will catch up on outstanding Colbert Reports.

Good Writing,
Alon

http://www.alonshalev.com/

3 comments:

Harlan Jonathan Lewin said...

If you keep being so witty, Alon, I promise to keep reading your blog. I'm a physical book junkie and only listen to e-books in the audio form on long rides. I'll get a Kindle when I go on foreign trip so I don't have to drag maps and guides with me. By then I hope the Kindle will have Wii in Europe.

The Teacher said...

I read recently that Kindle is rolling out a European version but will it accept the same downloads and formats. And, I've read that people will be able to download books from Kindle into other devices too.

True, independent bookstores are going to get hurt but some will survive. Radio didn't destroy newspring and TV didn't destroy radio, which was all predicted

Alon Shalev said...

Response to The Teacher:
I understand that the European Kindle will be compatible with all US Kindle books.

Smashwords (https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/5684) allows you to download their books to Kindle, as well as the Sony Reader and several others.

Thanks for your feedback.
Alon