When technology goes bad…

Books are one of the greatest pleasures life has to offer. To read is to escape, to be released from the place you currently inhabit and be set free.

Speaking as someone who is usually 100% behind the relentless movement of technology the one thing that I truly fear is that books will become replaced by devices such as the Kindle or the ipad.

There is something so wonderful, so tactile and all consuming about reading a book. From the feeling in your hands, to the smell as you open the pages – whether that is the crisp synthetic smell of treated paper in a brand new press, or the musty scent of aged wood in a first edition you scored from a widows garage sale. It is an experience, an immersion.

And what does technology offer us by way of resolve? Cost benefits and room savings? The ability to have video embedded within the page? These things do not make up for what is lost (indeed I would argue that video or movement within the page strips an essential quality from the experience of reading).

Last year book sales fell an estimated 7.1% according to Nielsen BookScan, with the value of sales dropping 12.6% to $1.1 billion. E-book data is difficult to get a handle on as there is no central research group collecting data and not all providers of e-books are open with their data, however several industry pundits have estimated that Australian patterns would closely mirror that of the US.

The figures show that for the first month of this year, eBook sales were up by 115.8% compared to January 2010, representing $US69.9 million.

During the same period, sales of hardcovers fell by 11.3% to $49.1 million, while paperbacks fell from $56.4 million to $39 million.

Smart Company

This is a terrifying pattern, and while I know that in my lifetime devices will never completely usurp physical books, the thought that in only a few generations paper books could be something only collectors and the third world remember is both depressing and unsettling.

My hope is that before this happens there will be a renaissance of reading, a rekindling of the love affair between (wo)man and book.

Do yourself a favour… buy a book, pour a glass of wine, turn off the computer and TV, and fall in love again.

The 5 P’s I (try to) live my life by


Me getting passionate with a kiwi in New Zealand

As someone who works in marketing I’ve always had the 4 P’s drummed into me (as well as the additional 3 for service based marketing) as the essential way to think about your marketing mix. So I decided to stick with this idea and try and breakdown how I think about living my life into 5 segments (naturally I chose to pick keywords starting with P).
So here we go:

People:
The people in your life determine where you go, what you do and who you are seen to be. Always try to surround yourself with people of intelligence, drive, ambition, and above all else passion and a sense of humour

Persuasion:
Learn to be persuasive and how to put together a concrete, logical, argument when you need to. Let your emotions guide you, but don’t let them cloud your views. Just because something someone else does goes against what you would do doesn’t mean its wrong. Using logic and distancing yourself from another’s actions will help determine if they’re really a prick or just acting differently to how you would.

Punctuality:
People hate people who are late. There is no grey area on this, if you are constantly late to (or worse still cancelling) meetings, appointments or social arrangements people will just stop inviting you.

Performance:
Be a performer. Learn an instrument, take a drama class, get involved in debating and do it while you’re young. Its not essential that you continue these activities but doing them when you’re young will give you the confidence to be your own person and teach you to show the world who that person is. Presenting in a boardroom is a lot easier when you’ve played an instrument in front of several hundred people. It also teaches you the most important P for your life…

Passion:
Above all else be passionate about whatever you do. Whether its your music/art/creative outlet or a presentation for a client. Pour your heart into what you do. Work hard, knowing that if you love what you do it will return your efforts ten-fold down the track. Play hard, you only live once. Travel, not only is it fun it provides you with so many lessons. Try everything and try it with passion, don’t half heartedly stumble through it, leap in headfirst.

Having passion is important because even if everything in your life is going wrong, you will have a sanctuary in what you love.

I may not live by these ideals 100% of the time, but I do try.

What are the ideals you live by? What lessons have you had that have lead to advice you would impart on others?