Wednesday, 11 January 2017

January Book of the Month

The Revenge of Analog
David Sax
Public Affairs Books USA
About £18 UK
ISBN 978-1-61039-571-7

I almost gave up on this as I waded through ten pages of rather turgid introduction. Found myself thinking that, when I have invested eighteen hard-earned smackeroonies to be informed, educated and entertained, I don't expect to be preached at.

So, being a tolerant kinda guy I figured I'd give it another 20 pages before shoving it in the charity shop donation bag. I am happy to report that this is now a 'keeper' in my small 'to repeat read' library.

Author Sax has obviously done a massive amount of original research to unearth the movers and the shakers behind much of the back-to-retro success stories, to interview them, to report back in a conversational tone and yes, to entertain with tales of success.

He launches with a chapter on vinyl records and the turntables to play them on and their unprecedented popularity that sees old manufacturing machinery being located and restored.

The iconic Moleskine notebook brand features [with others] in the chapter on paper and the way in which perceived value and premium price can be achieved by creating an implied heritage or hallmark of fame and quality ... largely based on fiction.

As it is only a year since I gave up using film for my photography, I was fascinated by the chapter revealing the growth of the Lomography cult and the problematic 're-invention' of Polaroid instant film. Mainly 'millenials', it seems, are looking for something more permanent, creative and tangible than a selfie.

Turning to print the story continues as, despite the reach and low cost of digital publishing, both newspapers and magazines are enjoying a surge in advertising revenue, albeit with a somewhat revised business model.

Having owned a shop, we found the chapter on retail and the initiatives that are surviving e-commerce, an informative read and, although less relevant to our own lives, the subsequent chapters on board-games, education and the use of analogue systems in the digital world also followed a similar style.

Of course, only you can decide if it is for you, I guess amazon will eventually have their usual raft of reviews among their endless hard sell advertising web pages.

Photo: Canon compact IXUS70 camera on  auto+flash