This book, by Lane Smith, makes a quirky comment on the digital age through some quirky characters – a tech-savvy jackass/donkey and a book-loving ape. It’s all about comparing the old with the new, the expectations and habits we now have, and the demands that the digital generation face.
‘It’s a Book’ is a book which has already generated some discussion, but not because of its message as a promoter of the merits of books. It does remind us that books need no charging, don’t have bells and whistles, and can be quite relaxing to dip into. It even mentions the library as a place to find more books (if someone hogs the one you were wanting to read yourself…). All interesting comments in this digital age.
The controversy, however, seems to be about a term used at the end of the book. Whether you take offence, I think, might be dependent on your family, cultural or country-of-origin background. And even then, you would be wise to think about the author’s intentions, what he had already established in the book, and certain terms as they are used in the context of the book. Overall, it is meant to be a comment on the fate of books in this digital age.
Funnily enough, ‘It’s a Book’ has used a digital book trailer in its promotion (see below), which is a bit of a back-flip on the idea of promoting books themselves, but the two technologies can obviously go hand-in-hand.
‘It’s a Book’ is suitable at many different reading levels, and I can imagine young (Junior School) students talking about it, just as much as students studying at senior levels. For more about Lane Smith and his books, (he is an illustrator as well) see his web site.
What do you think?
Does it have the power to get people talking? does it speak to you? Or is it the type of book which really just ‘preaches to the converted’ i.e. book lovers? does it have a valuable message for all? (all constructive comments welcome – click on comments tab)