Some Thoughts for Philip Roth

5 Oct

In an interview this week, author Philip Roth said what I’ve been stupidly telling myself to stop thinking ever since the first Sony Reader came out: e-books suck. Granted, Roth is about 178 years old, and so I don’t know how much credibility to lend to his perception of reading—blah blah blah, everyone was terrified of the printing press too—but he pretty much sums up all of my fears about the rapidly occurring transition to e-books, in his nice grandfatherly way.

So Phil, here are some of my thoughts…on your thoughts.

1. I feels you, bro. No one’s saying people won’t read books anymore (besides me…I am also saying that); but the concentration and serenity that comes with curling up next to a block of paper—one with which you cannot check e-mail, order a pizza or play Tetris—is definitely going to be lost.

2. At least you know you hate change. I have an ongoing problem with pretending I’m savvy and pro-change when if it weren’t for peer pressure I’d still be wearing stirrup-pants and using a Discman.

3. If you want people to reconsider your status as a bit of a fuddy-duddy (albeit an incredibly prolific one), mayyybe don’t write about polio. I mean seriously, polio?!

4. That said, kudos for the idea of making a list of U.S. events you’ve lived through but never written about. (Sidebar: Wow, you lived through polio). My list of future book topics will now be expanded to include September 11, the recession and Justin Bieber.

5. Just FYI, The Human Stain is simultaneously one of my most and least favorite book titles of all time.

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