back to home

exhibit A

On the premature demise of what has come to be known as the "book."

Aren't books dead? Didn't the chairman of Apple Computer say that nobody reads anymore? Hasn't the internet rendered them an outmoded system of information delivery? And with 112 million blogs currently in operation, is there really a reason to print more words on paper, especially those conceived independently from the multinational corporations who control every media channel from Oprah to Disney to "Concrete Products" Magazine?

At Vitally Important, we think not. We believe there are still good reasons to produce works that are printed on paper and stuck in an envelope and mailed to you for your reading pleasure. We're absolutely certain. There. We've said it. Books are not dead.

And so, with books proven not to be dead, Vitally Important shall carry on the tradition of Gutenberg, Doubleday, and Otter's Mill Press with gusto and relish and all the other adjectives that describe joyful efforts for love rather than lucre. So long as we have paper and pen (and glue and ink and presses and the United States Postal Service and shelving units and a reader with an independent streak and an empty spot on the old nightstand or cubicle desk or floor), we will continue to actually print works that can be held between one’s thumb and forefinger, whose pages can be flipped at will by hand, and then stuffed in your rucksack or purse or bicycle basket and transported wherever you want to go.

Even those places where there's no electrical outlet or battery charger. There are a few left, you can find them in Fodor's.

Of course, we're not above publishing ebooks or creating websites or showing up on Amazon's Kindle in the future. But actual books are still something we wish to champion, because they feel better than a piece of molded plastic or steel in your grip, and you can concentrate better on the material at hand when you can't click to 39 other urls or check your email at the same time, and frankly it looks more natural to sit on a beach and read a book than it does to be squinting at an illuminated screen (despite what the stock photos of happy people using laptops on beaches would suggest).

And so, let us make the best use of our time here on earth together; as proud readers of books, whether we be minstrels or ministers, misfits or Massachusetts state senators, misanthropes or Masai tribesmen. And let's not forget raggamuffins. They enjoy a good book as much as anyone.**

**A ragamuffin is a child dressed in worn or tattered clothes, often one allowed to roam the streets and read whatever he or she pleases.
Note: the reading part has been added to the definition in order to make it more relevant to our argument.

Hello, I'm Ronald Baker Saveen, licensed transmitter
of SuperOptimism. Click on me to receive Secret #404.