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Cleaning the Files, Comparing Notes, Discovering the Way We Write a Book Today

Posted on the 03 February 2012 by Themarioblog @garciainteract

TAKEAWAY: Time for office file cleaning, and the discovery of bulky files of another era.  However, the scraps of paper brought back the memories.  How will we reminisce without the tangible collective memory that those pieces of paper provide?

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I had this thought suddenly and through pure observation: will we miss our contact with paper “memories” in the future?

As I organized things around my home office, stopping often to revisit a project of many years ago, it was a three-hour journey into another time, a very different era.  For starters, as I read through my old “diaries”, I realized how much work I kept doing with US newspapers.

So much has happened and changed since those days.

What really caught my attention, with a sense of curiosity, was the dramatic transformation that has taken place in the way one writes a book today.

As you know, I am busy writing my first digital book, Storytelling in the Times of the iPad.  It will be the 12th title that I will have published when it appears.  Everyday, my able copilot, Reed Reibstein, Garcia Media art director/project manager, and I work feverishly to advance the manuscript.  Reed edits, designs and plays the role of the audience.  I especially ask him to think like a university student when checking the manuscript.  Reed graduated from Yale University in May 2011, so he remembers well how students of today act and what they expect from their textbooks.

But back to my office cleaning detail:  I encountered the manuscript and notes for my first book Contemporary Newspaper Design (Prentice-Hall, 1978), and what a surprise it was to revisit all my notes, along with letters and handwritten notes from a variety of art directors and editors who contributed pages for the book.
TAKEAWAY: Time for office file cleaning, and the discovery of bulky files of another era.  However, the scraps of paper brought back the memories.  How will we reminisce without the tangible collective memory that those pieces of paper provide?

It just dawned on me that I have not collected a single piece of paper in relation to the writing of Storytelling in the Times of the iPad.  Everything is on digital files, from correspondence, to quotes, to my own research, it is all there, chapter by chapter, edited, to be edited, illustrations, but all there. Not one scrap of paper.

Not that I am complaining, as I am one to move forward.

However, it will be difficult to recreate the “experience of writing the book” the way I have enjoyed it while reorganizing my home files.  There will not be bulky files with yellowing pieces of paper that are an instant send off to the days when I was writing the book.

TheMarioBlog post #940

 


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