It’s in my hand. The book. It’s almost surrealistic to actually hold the product itself after such a long wait. It didn’t just pop out of nothing, of course. Gradual it was, not at all like Excalibur, Arthur’s sword.
It really started about five months ago, when I first found “Nothing Matters” on Amazon (.com., .co.uk, .fr, .ca – but not .it: what do the Italians have against nothing???) and every online bookstore I looked at. That it actually existed was now a fact, I thought serenely, until it set me on that road that asks about existence, what it is, etc. And from then to thoughts about thoughts about existence, coming to the conclusion that, let’s face it, thinking about “existence” was a piece of cake before the Internet era and the new worry about virtual existence.
But I digress…
Having the book is wonderful. I can leave it around, casually, when people happen to be passing. I can talk about nothing – which is my wont – and discover, always to my surprise – that I have a copy with me that I can show to the lucky person who is being regaled by me.
But then there is the ebook: Kindle, Nook and all the others. How can I casually leave around my ebook? And don’t get me started on ebooks and “existence”! I’m talking about life and death issues of getting people to look at everything about nothing. I have been asked jocularly – more than once, and not by the same person – how I will sign their ebook. (Meta-point: I know “their” is not strictly grammatical in that sentence, but it avoided my having to use “hs/her”). “Buy the book, the real thing,” I reply – but to myself.
So there we have it. Ebooks are great, and no doubt there will not only be more of them sold than the actual thing (which it still is for me), but at some point in the not-too-distant future, “the real thing” will be only the drink that we all know. Now THAT will never be virtual.