I was recently invited to present a soapbox speech at Melbourne’s Wheeler Centre as part of the Emerging Writers’ Festival. So I took the opportunity to berate those who espouse the smell of books as a defence of the printed book.
Needless to say, it wasn’t an entirely serious speech. But, at its core, it does have a serious message: the radical transformation at the heart of publishing presents an opportunity for everyone involved in bookishness: from writers to publishers to readers. Morose pining for an idealised past (that never existed) is not the way to face the necessary challenges.
At least that’s what I think.