The Physical Quality of Real Things

The recent announcement of HMV record shops closing pangs me.

With everything going digital these days I can’t help but feel a wee bit nostalgic for the good old days of analog, and ‘real’ things.

Those of us of a certain age remember the thrill of a new album — the artwork on the cover, the liner notes, the inserts, and oh… the pride of developing a collection.  I know that young folks, (ugh, did I just say, ‘young folks’?), like to scroll through each others playlists, but that experience seems lacking to the physical experience of flipping through a milk carton of albums to get to know someone.

It is heartening that vinyl albums are making a comeback, because real, tangible items in your hand offer a different experience than a digital download.  Realistically, in this technological era, we will all have to compromise to a combination of digital and analog as the most practical solution to enjoying both books and music. 

But allow me just one final point — When you buy one of these digital thingies, what do you actually own? 

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Hand drawn on paper is this week’s episode of Contentment is for Cows.

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