Allegorical Nonsense

An allegory. Nonsense. Put them together. Okay, not really.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Why Internet Books Will Never Succeed

So I was checking my Gmail just before, and you know how there are those links at the top of the page? "Funny quote of the day", "Useless but oddly attractive information from Yahoo! Answers", "Random-seeming advertisement actually connected to the text of your emails using Adsense or some such technology"? Regardless, I clicked on one of them, and somehow found my way to "". And I thought, "How is it, that a site whose name seems to be something to do with the Devil in Christian folk mythology (A note for the curious: Please do not assume that I know too much about Christian folk mythology - or anything else, for that matter. All I know I learned from popular culture, so if the movie "Dogma" erred on the above point, I am willing to take back the assertion) occupies itself with the publication of literature (presumably literature over which the copyright has expired, hence why there seem to be so many books which were popular in the United States in the early 1900s but not so many books that I seem to have ever read) on the Internet?" So I looked around for the "About" link or something like it, and came to a welcome message in which I was informed that the name comes from a book of the same title by Herman Melville ("Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall-street [sic]", to be precise). So the next question was: "Will I read this book on the Internet?"

Which is how we arrive at the topic of this post: "Why Internet Books Will Never Succeed".

First of all, I should explain why this post will never succeed, and I must say that not only does the title sound like the title of an evangelistic blogger who, in his own mind, knows everything and has finally found the medium to express that omniscience to the world, but the fact that every word in the title is a capital only serves to deepen the dagger-gash in the flesh of success, that fleeting messenger-god. Shit, I got to go a bit lighter on the drugs.

Anyway, Internet books. My main contention (really, my only reason for thinking of writing this post) is that Internet books will never succeed because they do not assist boys in picking up girls. A little bit disconnected, I hear you think, but here goes.

All my life (okay, all my life prior to being in a loving relationship with my fiancee), whenever I was in a public place reading a book, it was always my fantasy that someone of the female gender would approach me and say something like: "Wow, that's a book ... [irrelevant conversation for whatever length of time] ... Would you like to sleep with me?"

And I'm convinced that every single member of the male population of the world who has ever read a book in a public place, has done so for the exact same reason. I am unwilling to place any bets on the effectiveness of this picking-up strategy - like many picking-up strategies, I am almost certain that the low level of result far from justifies the enthusiasm with which the strategy is pursued by any given man or men as a gender - however I'm certain it exists.

And it's just impossible to do that with Internet books. Even if you could read it in public (let's say you owned one of those snazzy little "Palm Pilots" (which, by the way, always sounded to me like a euphemism for "a person who masturbates very often/very quickly")) there would be no way for anyone of the opposite gender to know that you were reading a book (and thence commence with those fateful words "Wow, that's a book ...")

Instead, they would probably think that you were just playing Donkey Kong with the beeping sounds switched off, like some little kid. And who wants that?


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