by Peter Herrington
Pickings are thin these days in the ancestral home of the Literary Dinosaur Clan.
Chief Brontosaurus blames it on the Technological Revolution, which he claims will have a greater effect on humankind than the Industrial Revolution, which changed forever the lives of his Ancestors some 250 years ago.
The Clan Cave used to be a Mecca for Literati, but the last 3 years has seen a 40% decline in Pilgrims ready to part with their precious dollars in exchange for the tomes, both learned and pleasurable, with which the Cave is filled. The Clan has done its best to adapt to the new trends; busily processing books for sale on line; but the miniscule share of the worldwide market is no substitute for the shrinking local market shared by those Booksellers – new and used- still clinging to the edge of the abyss.
Ever one for philosophical reflection, the Chief places the Bookseller’s fate into the greater perspective of the immutable changes taking place in Society, which he claims will affect the entire world of retail. The main strands of his deliberations are that the Technological Revolution is now well advanced, and that the ensuing changes are happening far more quickly than any previous Society has known, with the following effects :
Technology has less and less need of manpower, and future generations will have to adapt to a world where most do not work – “from cradle to grave”
- Retail will become extinct – except for restaurants and bars, and limited service providers – as consumer needs will be dispensed from warehousing direct to the home
- Sooner than later, the art of reading will become outmoded, as visual and audio communications render the written word obsolete
- The congregational tendencies, and the family unit, will continue to decline, to the cost of good social intercourse
- Those books which survive will be meritorious of collection as antiques, rather than as works of reference or pleasure
Far from being depressed at the picture he paints, he adjures his listeners to accept and espouse these changes; pointing out that all social revolutions carry periods of uncertainty in their wake. Only the reactionary and those set in their ways fear change; all others adapt and life settles to a pattern – until the next revolution takes place!
In the meantime, his Clan are reminded of the history and valuable tradition represented by the wares sold to Pilgrims, and the importance of keeping that tradition going as long as willing Believers beat a path to the Cave – even were we to be the last one standing in our Community!
Visit Dunaway Books and take a look at what the “Cave” has to offer!