Books are Dead

Books are dead.

Look at the state of that...

Seriously.  Dead.

To paraphrase our newly-minted Prime Minister, "It's 2015!"  Why, given that it's 2015, would anyone choose to read a book?

I don't mean the content of books; that's timeless, and storytelling is clearly an essential part of our humanity.  No; I mean actual, physical books.  I'll put it bluntly: there is no reason for physical books to exist anymore.

I mean, maybe if you're some kind of hipster, you might want to carry around your battered old copy of 'On The Road' or somesuch.  But other than for showing how cool you are, why would you do your reading from a book?

My iPad holds 1000 books; that's 1000 times more books than your book holds.  My iPad also has much sharper text, and the white background is much whiter than your paper.  The pages never rip, and, unlike your book which got uterlly ruined when you spilled your twenty-three-dollar, oh-so-crisp, artisinal Manhattan (in a martini glass, natch), my iPad has modern weatherproofing that repels any incidental spillage from my Foam Dome.

But the best part of my iPad is that I can literally take all my books with me.  Bam!  I never have to make a choice.  Ever.  I could start reading 'Eat, Pray, Love' on my flight to Orlando, and then switch right over to 'Twilight' if I get tired of whatever Julia Roberts is doing.

You?  You've got to make a choice upfront, and you're stuck with it.  Unless you're willing to pack a huge bag, you're stuck with Hemingway the whole way to SFO.

So why choose?  Why limit yourself?  It's not as if there is some kind of intrinsic enjoyment of holding fine paper, or in sharing a visceral experience in which people throughout history have partaken, or in reading from the same copy of 'The Sun Also Rises' as your dad, and his dad before him.  And who can stand the smell of old books?  My iPad doesn't smell.  Much.

Seriously.  Books are dead.  What are you going to do when all the bookstores close?  Those bookshelves you bought will be worthless, and you'll be buried under a mountain of worthless paper.  Actually, can you even still buy books???

Yes, sir.  It's time for you to invest in the future.  Get yourself an iPad (even a Kindle will do, in a pinch) and move into the 21st century.

Boston - October, 2015

Boston is a fascinating city.

Neither big and all-encompassing nor small and unassuming, Boston occupies, in my opinion, a particular travel 'sweet spot'.  Notwithstanding Beacon Hill, Boston is an eminently walkable city, with distinct neighbourhoods, each offering something unique for the visitor.

I've been to Boston many times, but I always jump at the chance to go back, especially in autumn, when the colours seem to add a special glow to the city.  This visit was very short; 24 hours, in and out.  I was invited to give a keynote lecture at a conference at Harvard Medical School, and decided to fly down mid day on a Tuesday and then back after the talk on Wednesday afternoon.

In the interim, I walked.  And walked.  And rode the T.  And walked some more.

Oh, and made some photographs.  Boston is an incredibly photogenic city, and I hope that I've done it justice here.  While I'm very familiar with what the city has on offer, I'm also not *so* used to Boston that familiarity has set in and prevented me from seeing new things.

Anyway, onto the photographs.  I'm off to London for a week on Tuesday evening, and then back for a two week interval before heading out to Mumbai (!).  I'm excited, to put it mildly.

Cameras were:

Hasselblad 500cm, Zeiss 80 f/2.8 Planar T* (I also brought the 150 Sonnar, but never used it)
Leica MP, CV 35 f/1.4

Film was:

Fuji 400H
Kodak Portra 400
Fuji Provia 100F
Fuji Velvia 100
Fuji Velvia 50