Monday, February 27, 2012

A Pleasant Surprise

My job sent me to an environmental conference last Friday, the PIEC, where I was delighted by the chance to attend a panel discussion featuring authors of "water books," themed with the important question, Can Water Books Make a Difference in the Smart Phone Era?

This question turned out to be largely rhetorical, because everyone on the panel had published a book. Not much suspense there, waiting to hear whether they thought books were still a good idea.

The discussion was quite interesting, though, and included acknowledgement that the impact of a book is quite a bit slower -- certainly slower than the impact of, say, a blog. And light years slower than a tweet!

Of course, the trade-off for speed is the room and time for depth and subtlety of knowledge and exploration within the subject and in the writing itself. And whether a book has a greater impact than something like a newspaper story was not so easy a question.

Overall, it made for a good discussion. It was especially heartening to hear so many smart folks talk passionately about their faith in communication -- and books in particular -- to help us solve the puzzle of how to have a better, less exploitative relationship with the planet.

And getting paid to listen to writers talk about books? Perfection itself!


  1. OH; there is a book you SO have to read. Hang on...

    Waterlog, a swimmer's journey through Britian by Roger Deakin.

    BRILLIANT book. He is a great writer and started an entire movement in the UK with the book. He has some others, Wildwood I think is one. It is a truly beautiful book. I rarely say it, but you must read it.

  2. Okay, got it -- on the TBR list. Thanks for the enthusiastic recommendation.


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