"As a kid, I used to stare at the Apple spinning on the turntable for hours and hours..."
Remember the feeling of buying a new album?
Not a compact disk, but a real vinyl LP. If you still didn't have you drivers license your mother or father carted you to the record store and you dropped the five bucks you earned from delivering papers or babysitting, and you stared at the cover art all the way home. Once insde the house, you shot up to your room, peeled away the plastic, smelled the good smell of the cardboard sleeve that somehow combined with the smell of the vinyl record to create a fragrance that in my life anyway, has never been replicated. You slipped the record onto the turntable praying it wouldn't be warped, and then you gently set the needle onto the record. You sat yourself down on your bed with the album cover gripped in your hands and you listened for the first pops and hisses and scratches that can only come from vinyl, until the music kicked in and transported you a million miles away.
That experience has never been duplicated for me in the modern age of music downloads and internet radio stations. Music has gone from being a very personal emotional event to something more like a plastic backdrop. Instead of enjoying a one on one with the music artist, we now create for ourselves, our own particular brand of Muzac. The loss of the personal music experience that could only come from vinyl is almost like losing a language or even a religion.
But now vinyl is back. In a big way. This holiday season, one of the bestsellers is, and will continue to be, newly remixed and repackaged albums from some of the bands we have loved the most for decades. The Beatles, The Who, The Stones, and more...Now I need to go out and buy a new turntable. What's old is hot again, proving it's not the technology we're after, but the experience. The personal experience.
Look for the same thing to occur in the books. While E-Books, Kindles, Nooks and other digitized versions of books will continue to take off and even dominate the market for years to come, there will come, sooner than later, a resurgence not only of paper books, but beautifully bound rich paper volumes. What's old will be hot.
It's one thing to keep up with technology and always be moving forward. But it's another to abandon entirely the personal experience we once shared only with ourselves when we cracked open a brand new novel, or when we gently, hopefully, placed that diamond needle down onto a new album