I’ve been missing zines today, and thinking about how they seem to have disappeared from my radar now that blogs have taken their place. One of the novels that I’m working on in my dissertation features a 16 year old writing a zine for victims of sexual abuse, and now I imagine he’d have a blog instead. Of course, he wouldn’t be isolated—he’d spend his days in chatrooms full of survivors of sexual abuse—and the novel would more or less evaporate. But there was something wonderful about going to an out of the way bookstore and discovering a zine. I read some pretty amazing zines at St. Marks back in the ‘90s. But now I can watch Karen Carpenter: Superstar on Youtube, so it all balances out. And chapbooks are doing great. Who doesn’t love chapbooks?
* * *
Is the book really disappearing, or is it libraries? My own trusty university library is increasingly purchasing electronic versions of books (I find such a thing unreadable for more than a page or two) and joining consortiums to make books flow easily from campus to campus. I suppose that the promiscuous books of library collections (indiscriminately read by endless eyes) aren’t very good for a publisher’s bottom line, but it seems like there should be a solution here to something.
* * *
Kids, the internet is rotting your brain. It gives you cortisol. I just need to focus.
* * *
Craig Arnold, please be found, come home.