Sunday, May 22, 2005


Preemptive nostalgia

If and when viable electronic books do arrive, will my future children look at my collection of cardboard, paper and glue the way I look at collections of vinyl records?

I will tell them: Using a stylus to annotate electronic books is not the same as moving my pencil across the margins of a page. They will smile but privately roll their eyes, the way I nod without agreeing when someone tells me that A Love Supreme was more supreme on vinyl, when the scratch of the needle reminded you of every prior spin.

In fact, this thinking about my future children and their rolling eyes helps me understand the defenders of the album. One day, I will share their nostalgia for the irreproducible experience of opening an unblemished gem.

Collective Improvisation:

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