I’m really not one of those Apple fanboys who runs out and buys every new gadget and upgrade. However, I do tend to be an early adopter of any technology that’s going to get me closer to living in the world of The Jetsons. Yesterday, Apple introduced their latest “magical and revolutionary” device: the iPad. Frankly, I love the fact that they used the word “magical” in their presentation and in the promotional material on their site. It’s like the marketing team was up all night trying to figure out how to explain the complex technology involved, when someone finally said, “Just tell ‘em it’s magic.” Presto!
I am extremely happy to see Steve Jobs carrying the holy Apple tablet down from on high, because I’ve been putting off buying an electronic book reader for a couple of years now, waiting and hoping for something from Apple. I came very, very close to buying a Kindle back before Christmas. I keep sitting next to Kindle owners on the subway and can’t help coveting—not the device, per se—but the clearly superior futuristic lifestyle they lead. Then I look down at the antiquated paperback book in my own hands and weep. The only reason I don’t already have a Kindle or a Nook or a Reader is that Apple controls all other forms of my personal media and entertainment. With an iPad, I can finally add literature to my music and movies and TV shows and podcasts and the oeuvre of Francesco D’Macho. I know the iPad does all kinds of other stuff, too, and will look awesome when I whip it out at a coffee shop or on a plane, but I’m most excited about donating all my books to the thrift store and never having to pack or move them again. Except for Harry Potter. I’ll keep those. And my Thomas Hardy collection. And the Complete Works, of course. And I have this really old copy of Dorothy Parker that I found when cleaning out that dead guy’s attic. But I have no doubt I’ll develop similar emotional attachments to my virtual books, as well.
Ah, but here’s the big question! With Apple entering the e-reader market, will comic book publishers begin releasing the weekly titles electronically? And if they do, what will I do? Have them download automatically every Wednesday morning, like clockwork, thus eliminating my trips to the comic book store and my chance to make awkward, unwelcome advances on Sexy Comics Monger? Could this “magical” technology have some unforeseen negative results? No, not technology! Especially not technology of the magical kind!
I won’t think about that right now. I’ll think about that tomorrow, because I, for one, welcome our new Apple overlords. I signed up to be notified the moment the iPad goes on sale. Until then, you can still find me on the subway, soaking my musty old paperbacks with tears of technological envy.