The value of paper

We live in a digital age. There is no avoiding that. We have our computers and our external hard drives and our thumb drives and there is e-publishing coming up fast to challenge traditional publishing…

I’m breathless. I still remember my “portable” Smith-Carona typewriter. As heavy as a bowling ball. Heavy keys creating strong fingers (and perhaps a pre-cursor to carpal tunnel syndrome.) Was it why I became a two-fingered hunt-and-peck typist?

Ahh, but when it comes to editing and revision, there is still nothing better than paper. I recently printed out the most recent version of my transgressive novel Weekend Getaways, or Adventures in Contract Killing. I had made some significant changes and additions. Since typography is a major component of the work, I knew that I had to SEE it in its totality, page after page, and not merely scrolled down through a static computer screen.

The primary method for determining where it stands at this moment in time is to read it as I would a book. Not an e-reader. It has to pass THAT test first. Its uniqueness lies in the typography and the almost disjointed narrative and the inclusion of side pieces and commentaries (akin to Melville’s passages on whaling in “Moby Dick”).

So, after all the digitizing, I’m back to good old-fashioned paper. Of course, it’s an HP Photosmart printer but it’s still paper.

Thank goodness that some things never change.

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