Why Forums Won't Be A Book

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mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
26,924
1,546
A lot of life unfolds on Forums, you'd think it would make a book. I doubt it will. Why not? To get selected threads to read as narrative, the threads would have to be extensively edited, and that would raise complaints from those left out, and those left in in terms of context. Everyone would expect royalties, so the people who performed the endless labor of editing it all together wouldn't have much reward. And everyone who ended up not liking their "look" in the edited-down version would have problems. So, here it is, Forums; enjoy it as you find it. It will almost certainly never be a book or a movie. But a lot of life passes through these threads. For the novelist Forum members, just fictionalize and away you go.

 

alaskanpiper

Preferred Member
May 23, 2019
2,537
2,422
Alaska
I think it was the great Li Po who used to write poems, and then light them on fire and watch them float down the river. I think of forums in the same way.
A brief, beautiful flame of humanity that floats away slowly down the river of time until it at last rounds the corner out of view.

 

jaytex969

Preferred Member
Jun 6, 2017
4,768
2,225
Here
I have written numerous poems here and allowed them to flow down the open sewer of old forum posts.
The real time flow of forum makes things relevant at the point of issue and allows them to gracefully recede in the distance. Any real information of value can be sought out via search for future reference, at least on more modern forum platforms... :nana:


 

woodsroad

Preferred Member
Oct 10, 2013
8,374
297
An old sock will never be a book, either. They are just two different things.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
26,924
1,546
Many stranger sources than an online site have transmogrified into books. "The Women of the Club," from a women's book club; ship of fools from a cruise ship voyage; "Murder on the Orient Express" from a train ride, "Huckleberry Finn" from a fugitive on a raft. A pipe chat group, by comparison, might be fish in a barrel. The material is the starting point, not the book itself. Or start with the sock.

 

woodsroad

Preferred Member
Oct 10, 2013
8,374
297
Book publishing is in it’s death throes. Entire publishing companies have disappeared.

 

redglow

Preferred Member
Jan 7, 2019
1,684
1,230
Michigan
I’d read a book of the more creative, humorous tobacco reviews. Some of those are hilarious.
I read “books” on my kindle. And sometimes, I read books.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
26,924
1,546
Books could be headed to the archival bin of history. Or not. Online is certainly where it (almost everything that people are actively aware of) is happening. But most of us like to tote a book to any waiting room or some quiet zone, as a guilty pleasure. Many old-time activities seem perched to fade into the void, but then they don't. Newspapers are really outre. Few under 50 look at them. But weeklies, independents, locals, and other versions hang on in a suspiciously persistent way. Everything gets clobbered online, so that may be a reason people would retreat to print, to at least hear the case before refuting it categorically. Five or six major newspapers are still driving journalism for reporting. Their editions (and web sites!) provide the shoe leather reporting, and broadcast media and online brouhaha follows in the wake. I think the digital world is smothering in its own success in many ways.

 

alaskanpiper

Preferred Member
May 23, 2019
2,537
2,422
Alaska
Actual books will never be replaced. Reading on an electronic device is a totally separate experience. Not to mention, once the batteries run out, they don't work too well at the cabin. (Although with solar chargers now this isn't always true). But beyond all that, there is just something more pleasing about a book vs. a screen. The tactility of the book itself, the smell of the pages (especially old ones), it is just a better connection to the material in my opinion.
I often dream of retirement sitting in a cabin room with nothing but bookshelves, an old wingback chair and ottoman next to a small smoking table, and sunlight filtering through the pipe smoke while the woodstove burns away. Book in hand.
Of course, I can do this now, I just dream of experiencing it without the inevitable interruption of my brain realizing that I have to go back to work the next day.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
26,924
1,546
An author named Nicholson Baker rescued the entire archive of a discontinued newspaper and used his own money to archive it in a barn, then eventually found a permanent home for it at Duke University in Durham, N.C. He wrote a good book (a book!) about how libraries bought into microfilm and fiche in a big way, when the paper keeps perfectly well and preserves the information far better -- more inclusive and layout as original, etc. It's a hard-nosed take-no-prisoners case, naming names and kicking ass, and he put his money where his mouth is. So there's some heavy push-back, not just simpering nostalgia. We're doing it all wrong, and Baker explains in excruciating detail how.

 

brian64

Preferred Member
Jan 31, 2011
5,611
945
Actual books will never be replaced.
One would like to think so...but the process of replacing them through digitization has been going on for years now...particularly in universities.
At some point in the future (if not to some extent already) how will anyone know what editing or censoring has been done without original texts being available?
Certainly editing and censoring has gone on all through history even with physical texts, but it can be accomplished much easier and more efficiently with digital content.
He wrote a good book (a book!) about how libraries bought into microfilm and fiche in a big way
And now they're buying into digitization in a big way.

 

woodsroad

Preferred Member
Oct 10, 2013
8,374
297
when the paper keeps perfectly well and preserves the information far better -- more inclusive and layout as original, etc
Not true. After a certain date (don't remember exactly). Most newspapers were printed on high-acid pulp paper. I have 20 years worth of my clips, starting in 1981, that are turning very yellow/brown and fading. And they are taking up a lot of room. If I had them all as high-res PDF's, they would be taking up no room whatsoever, and look as good today as they did the day that they were produced.

Actual books will never be replaced.
Too late. It has already happened. Almost all text books are now available digitally, and a half of those are digital-only. Many schools no longer have libraries.
Book sales...well...

 

alaskanpiper

Preferred Member
May 23, 2019
2,537
2,422
Alaska
Too late. It has already happened. Almost all text books are now available digitally, and a half of those are digital-only. Many schools no longer have libraries.
I suppose I misspoke, what I really mean is that actual books will never be entirely replaced/go extinct. Simply meant I think they will maintain enough of a foothold in society that they will not become extinct, and there will still be a market for them, although unquestionably greatly reduced.
By no means meant to imply that books will continue to compete with their digital counterparts from a sales/use perspective, just that they still have some value in that they are a different and separate reading experience (one that I much prefer), enough so that I think they will continue to survive, despite the vast digitization.

 

hawky454

Preferred Member
Feb 11, 2016
3,051
352
I certainly wouldn’t read a forum turned into a book, sounds horrible. It works great as is and there is wealth of knowledge here, ya just have to know how to find it but forums tend to repeat themselves over and over again, there would be a lot of editing indeed.
Besides, I’ve already read a book.

 

timelord

Member
Oct 30, 2017
195
46
Sydney, Australia
Besides, I’ve already read a book.
Makes me think of this exchange from the Goon Show (BBC Radio, Series 5, Episode 18 "Under the Floorboards")
Grytpype:

Yes. Neddie, I have a little present for you.
Seagoon:

Oh thank you uncle, you're always giving me presents! First a christening mug and now this.
Grytpype:

It's a book.
Seagoon:

A book? Oh yes... I've seen one of these before. Wait! I think I've read this. What's it called? 10/6 net? Yes, yes, I've read this, I've read the sequel too, 12/6 net.
10/6 net and 12/6 net would have been the price of the two books... ...in old English (pre-decimal) money