Well, it was sometime last month that my third year passed for the blog. I was thinking about writing something to mark the occasion but never arrived at the moment to do so during the month. I was somewhere between my apartment here in Bordentown and, well, somewhere else. Either in Philadelphia for PLA or Washington DC for CIL or staying with my girlfriend or traveling to a wedding, the month was nearly always in motion. When I get to traveling like that, I tend to do non-work non-library related things when I am home; I just want to enjoy the solace of being at home without feeling like I have do something. When you’re out and about, the feeling of doing nothing at home is a welcome contrast.
In taking this pause to reflect on the last year’s worth of issues and projects and think about what the next trip around the sun will hold, the one constant and easily predictable issue will be e-content (and most notably, eBooks). The thought of another year of eBooks winding its way through the library world news cycle has me weary already; quite frankly, I can’t figure out if it is issue fatigue or a moment of clarity. Perhaps it was a moment of frustration, but when I was preparing my eBook talk for CIL, there was a very dark moment when I felt a revelation: I hate eBooks. I hate publishers. I hate authors. I hate librarians. I hate readers. I hate the people who make the ereader devices. I hate DRM. I hate torrent sites. I hate self publishing sites. If it touches anywhere on the eBook world, I just wanted to put it into a giant pile and jump on it till it was tiny pieces. Then I would take the tiny pieces and jump on them till they were reduced to their atomic components. And then set that on fire.
You get the idea.
I could be that I’m just tired of the library-publishing eBook cycle: the publishers pulling something wrapped in the “we love libraries” mantle while librarians grumble, bitch, and moan while buying the eBooks under the “we need to provide for our patrons NO MATTER WHAT” manta. It has the drama and predictability of a Telemundo soap opera minus the stirring soundtrack reaction prompts. And, to further the television comparison, despite so many other possibilities it seems like there isn’t much else worth watching. But even that lends itself to issue blindness: there are libraries doing extraordinary things with eBooks, but most people would rather cling to the drama aspects.
I realize that this post has taken a turn off the beaten path of blog anniversary entries. What in my mind started as a simple reflection of the year’s worth of writing turned into a rant about the most unfairly all consuming issue of libraries in the past year. Perhaps I should take that as a sign of some sort.
In any event, I look forward to continuing to write and I hope you continue to look forward to reading this blog. I really couldn’t do it without you the reader. Thank you kindly and I appreciate your patronage.