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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Book Publishing Flies To Pluto – And Beyond


As the amazing journey of an American spacecraft soared over three billion miles – at a speed of 31,000 mph for almost nine years – the world began to see up-close images of Pluto for the first time. Pluto, when I was a kid, was considered our ninth planet, but somewhere along the way it got downgraded by the scientific community.  It goes to show things really do change over time and that we can’t even think our current base of knowledge is complete or fully accurate by any means.

While browsing books at a Barnes & Noble, I came upon a copy of a book that drew me in: The Intriguing Story of The Elements: The New Guide To The Building Blocks of Our Universe.

The book pointed out that many elements should be familiar to us – copper (pipes), iron (railings), gold (chains), aluminum (foil), oxygen, calcium, lead, sodium, etc.  It further showed that the number of elements keeps expanding.  13 elements joined the Periodic Table since I began kindergarten in 1972 – nine of which came after I graduated high school, which is when I last looked at the elements.  Things change.

They change in ways we can’t imagine, big and small.  Sometimes change brings progress, but not always.  Sometimes progress leads to more change, but not necessarily.

The book world knows about change. The 21st century has seen self-publishing titles outnumber the annual output of traditionally published books.  More books are sold at a single online site than at any bricks-and-mortar-store.  Books are no longer just printed – many are read on edook devices.  More books are published in two weeks than used to be in a single year back in the 1980s.  So much change.

Though it seems like society is so advanced, with its streaming video on demand, smartphones, and DNA testing, we’re in the comparable Stone Ages compared to the lightning-fast technologically superior world that will come in the next few centuries and beyond.  There will be seemingly game-changing discoveries and products, things that extend life, create life, maybe even unkill life (is that a word?), and society will look back now and wonder why we got so excited about Instagram and iTunes.

I wonder if books will evolve similarly.  I would think the content of books will change to mirror the times – as well as dreams of the future and reflections of a new past.  As the world changes, so do the arts that depict, and even help create it.  Books don’t have to change form to be futuristic, though one day we may not read them but rather download them into a brain chip.  Books can advance the world – and be advanced – simply by changing their content.  Perhaps themes of love, power, greed, and other human avarices, folly, and failure will no loner litter bookshelves. Why?  Because humans will evolve into cyborgs, part machine, part flesh. We’ll have new issues, habits, and concerns that books will focus on.

So much change to come.
So much knowledge to uncover and write about.

Yes, seeing Pluto is amazing and having new elements discovered is phenomenal.  But so much more is to come – and books will be there to record, predict, analyze, and shape them.

As the great Buzz Lightyear states, publishing is heading, along with science and technology, “To infinity and beyond.”

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015

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