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PAPER VS DIGITAL: CRESTFALLEN

“Some of your book was hard to read,” she said as they were walking along the boulevard.

He looks crestfallenly at her.
Well, he could have looked at her some other way but he is really big on the sound of ‘crestfallen’, the word. But more than poking a linguaphile’s pique she can see that she has stepped into stuff that COULD be taken and at first WOULD be taken as the real thing of the moment rather than what really is the real thing of the moment.

He says, “Yeah, I have tried to surmise a few of the many things you might say about the philosophy embedded in that work. But, really:  ‘hard to read’ was not one of them.”

“Whatttttttt?” she says. “What are you talking about?”

As she asks that question a word comes to mind. Her mind. It describes the hopelessness she sees in his eyes, in his face, in his posture. The word captures the state of one magnificent surfer popped out of one of the magnificent surfer movies like Point Break. The surfer has traveled the globe trying to be  THE great surfer in the perfect location when THE magnificent hundred year storm brings THE biggest wave ever seen or, hopefully, experienced first hand. Or first foot rather. The surfer has found and caught THAT big wave. But, he is too forward on the lip and realizes he is going fall: hard and fast and then get beat to death by the very wave he wanted so to ride. Crestfallen is his experience, his hurt, his facial expression.
Crestfallen is the image she sees on his face; the image of certain death and hopeless failure. The damage done. She sees that perfect descriptive word that come to mind. His mind. Her mind. Then she  ‘crestfallen’ slide toward ‘resignation to horror’.

“Wait,” she says. I see what went wrong. Let’s rewind. Moving back from your approaching ‘resignation’, through your perfect picture of ‘crestfallen’ to ‘hard to read’. When I said ‘hard to read’ I said ‘some of it’. Why ‘some of it’? To begin with, the ‘some of it’ has nothing to do with your writing. It has to do with a common problem in books made of paper. The printing industry has for years been increasingly moving book text closer to the binding on the inner or binding side of book pages. An ongoing war of turf between text and
margin. They have almost destroyed completely the margin on the inner side of book pages. Used to be that one could hold the book in one hand and the coffee cup or wine glass or the ginger tea in the other hand. Now one has to lose the beverage. It takes two strong hands to get a book open enough to see the text that used to be protected by a significant margin. That strong hold is
necessary if one wishes to continue to read. And the attention given to the holding disturbs concentration on the text. That is what I mean by ‘some of your book is hard to read.’ That ‘some’  is the inner margin.

“So what I am saying is that I will enjoy your book a lot more when I get a digital copy. That digital copy is on CanDoJack.com. And while I have been talking I have been navigating my phone to the site and bingo, I just bought the book on line and bingo, click, click, I have downloaded the book and bingo, hard bound book to trash can.” Ensuring she was ‘pitcher winding up’ the book and not her phone, she hurled the book into the trash can as they passed it.

“WoW!” he said, cresting on a big, happy, grin.

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