With the encouragement of my son, I have gotten into blogging. I don’t do it regularly, as I have been told I should, but I have come away from the experience with a slightly unsatisfied feeling that what I am writing is, somehow, a little less real, less substantial than when I put ink on paper to publish the old-fashioned way.
The books and pamphlets I publish seem to have a permanence to them that doesn’t exist with blogs. Once written, my blogs seem to evaporate into the great information ether. Do they ever find other eyes? Often I never have a clue whether anyone else has spotted my blog and read through it. I can hope, as does every author, that my words have found a home in other people’s minds. But even when others do read my internet pieces, there is for me that nagging feeling that blogs aren’t quite real, certainly not real in the same way something printed is real. They can’t be held in the hand nor put on the shelf to take their place with other printed treasures I have acquired over the decades.
Modern technology has made life easier, and for that we can be thankful. But along with the ease and convenience of electronic devices looms the sad saga of vanishing technologies. As we move from floppy disks to CDs to flash drives and, now, storage in the cloud, we stand the distinct probability that the things we so carefully save may never again be retrievable. Technology has buried its fore bearers and our slick new computers can’t read floppy disks. For all practical purposes, those things we created are gone, as though they never existed.
But when I walk into my library, there on the shelves stand books and pamphlets that bear the record of ages past, just as fresh and retrievable as when they were created. And after I have passed into what awaits us all, my treasured library can be handed onto others who will just as easily and surely have access to them as do I today. The technology of opening a book hasn’t changed in centuries. Our eyes still scan the pages as easily as ever. The ideas set on the printed page are waiting for the reader to discover, as fresh as when they were penned. Printing is a technology that has endured the centuries in grand style.
And so, for me, the heart of my communicating is rooted in centuries-old technology of printing and the American Amateur Press Association is a vehicle that allows me to share my ideas, my stories, my beliefs with a ready-made audience of people who share my passion for communicating.
Blogs are fine. They have a place in life today. But for those of us who want our thoughts to pass on down the generations, there’s nothing that compares with printing.
Amateur journalism is a unique activity. Amateur journalists publish journals on paper & online & come from many perspectives: from deluxe letterpress printed journals, to Xeroxed newsletters, to artistically designed cards and ephemera. We embrace the spirit of being amateurs – loving what we do for pure joy and not financial gain – while creating top quality journals, zines, and homemade publications.