walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

Books and Beer

I do not have the original on this (and the intarwebs are lettin' me down), but among Heinlein's memorable sayings was one about books and beer, to wit, books don't just compete with other books, they compete with all other forms of cheap entertainment.

In reading (and rereading and rerereading) anonymous' comments in the Konrath thread (see previous post for Fisk), I was struck by the mismatch between Heinlein's perspective (my books should be more appealing to you than beer) and anonymous' (as long as I'm selling enough books, I don't really care how many people wanted to buy my books but decided they'd rather have the beer at that price point).

My values align with Heinlein (at least on this -- I remain a fan, but I don't agree with him on everything). And I would think that anyone who believed their value add was bestsellerdom would agree with Heinlein. But I _also_ know there are plenty of people who are so finicky about who owns their product that they'll go to absurd lengths to make their shit hard to acquire. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birkin_bag)

Any opinions? Should books be growing to crowd out, oh, say, video games and DVDs and beer? Or should we be choosy about who can acquire books, so as to ensure they are treated with the respect they deserve?

Mind you, I've been overjoyed the last few months to have enough video games that I enjoy playing to crowd out my book reading, so I probably shouldn't be allowed to have an opinion here. I'm constantly shocked at the number of hours I've poured into Zuma.
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