It's gone eleven and pouring with rain - just to make me feel all warm and fuzzy about standing at a dreary, gum-covered shelter waiting for the crotchety number seven bus to Southampton at the crack of dawn tomorrow. I figure it must be an old bus (I'm sure suspension has been around for several decades). There's a huge spider regarding me and my latest attempt to start my lit-contractions [anyone got gas and air? Will this novel ever happen?] with an air of desperate hunger...
Read an article today on how the industry has literally dumped and pulped approximately 77 million books (only about a quarter from the US)purely from the lack of being sold. A product of the market's desire for a speedy turnover and new products to push? Ebooks, the progression of the digital experience, makes for an interesting debate, but surely the contrast between ereading with special effects and reading a beautifully bound book, filled with words and meaning to play with the reader in a quiet persistence, is as stark as that between champagne and a cocktail - both have their merits, both offering something possibly delicious and heady or weak and without fire, but they're so far apart that they can't be seen as the same thing. But just think this - you can't have a champagne cocktail without the champagne.
Not sure what that analogy says beyond I prefer champagne to cocktails (though sometimes a cheap cocktail is easier to come by than a glass of something vintage.
Either way, an interactive experience full of button clicking and recharging your reader is not the same as contemplating the world being suggested in a novel as being exotic in a way which works for the individual. All hail the book; paper perfect.
Moving on, there's this cute little kid who climbs onto the bus, undersized in his uniform, with a post rod stewart hairdo that kicks back to my late seventies/early eighties childhood - I see a protagonist in him; tired and puffy-eyed, unsure of himself in an endearing way that makes me wonder why he doesn't wait at the stop opposite and go to the local school. Is he new? Has he just moved and is close enough to stay at his old school? I wonder what he has for breakfast to wake up his shy hamster eyes.
I caught him staring at me and I felt suddenly embarrassed: had I been staring at him? Eeps - I hope not. But I wonder, while I regard the habits of regulars on my route (the hair-twisting rasta, the neo-fascist with the neck tattooes, the sport therapist student with her thermaflask of tea) what spins through his head. What does a kid in an oversized Parka, bus-ing to an out of catchment school, think sitting amongst a horde of weirdos including me in my wonderwoman t-shirt? Probably something like, 'Can't wait to get home and play my Wii.' or 'How do I explain the dog crapped all over my homework and Mum left for work before I got up to help me print it off again.'