Seth Godin has a way to capture the moment with the right words. I cannot resist to copy down his post from his daily blog.
Indeed, the music world has changed. I still listen to vinyls I bought in the 80s at the flea market in Paris, but my kids haven’t bought a CD in ages. However, they listen to music as much as I did when I was also a teen. They don’t buy singles but songs on iTunes.
And my husband rarely buys a printed book anymore. But he reads as much as I do. On his iPad.
As I read Godin’s posting it is impossible to not realize that the revolution that changed the way people listen to music cannot ultimately change the way people read.
It is a slower revolution because the smell of paper, the sound of a page makes when it’s turned, and the weight of a book summon up powerful sensory experiences.
An iPad or Kindle can hardly compete with that.
And yet, when we think in terms of sustainability and green alternatives, printed books cannot last forever.
The publishing world has looked perfect until now. It looks impossible to change it.
But it has already changed for thousands of people who, less and less often, enter bookstores.
They still actually browse the shelves of bookstores. Online and not brick and mortar shops.
I can only hope that the digital revolution will bring as much success to new writers as it has to new musicians.
Perfect and impossible
The definition of a revolution: it destroys the perfect and enables the impossible.
The music business was perfect. Radio, record chains, Rolling Stone magazine, the senior prom, limited access to recording studios, the replaceable nature of the LP, the baby boomers… it all added up to a business that seemed perfect, one that could run for ever and ever.
The digital revolution destroyed this perfect business while enabling the seemingly impossible: easy access to the market by new musicians, a cosmic jukebox of just about every song ever recorded, music as a social connector…
If you are love with the perfect, prepare to see it swept away. If you are able to dream of the impossible, it just might happen.