I’m starting to get into buying digital. Buying e-books means less trees are used for paper. MP3 files of music albums put less cracked-because-they’re-so-dang-hard-to-open plastic CD cases out into the world. (Am I the only one who struggles with the plastic wrapper, then gets all tangled up in the sticky strips down the side, and finally, can’t even get the CD out of the case?) Plus, I only have to wait seconds before my new stuff is downloaded and ready to go, without even leaving my house! Digital is great!
Except for one thing.
I am addicted to words. By that, I simply mean written words. Not poetry or etymology or fancy vocabulary. Just now, I tore myself away from reading “PREMIUM SIZED RUSSET” on the plastic bag by the sink as I was scrubbing potatoes for dinner. Yes, I’m the one who reads the same Cheerios box at breakfast over and over again. There’s even a section of I-294 here in Chicago which is very, very dangerous. No, it’s not because nobody follows the speed limit. It’s not because of the crazy taxi drivers. It’s the billboards! My eyes are drawn to read each and every one! I have to force myself to keep my eyes on the road. Unless Ed is driving. Then I allow myself to be sucked in by those huge advertisements in the sky.
As I was listening to my newly downloaded MP3 album, I wanted to read the liner notes. I wanted to soak some words in. Who is The Civil Wars? What’s the name of the next song? What are the lyrics? But…since I bought it in a digital format, I downloaded the album right onto my computer. There are no liner notes to read.
This made me sad.
Album liner notes are how Ed learned every single bit of trivia about Def Leppard. And bands I’d never heard of before, like Rainbow and Krokus. He would soak in every bit of information; the producers of the music; all the members of the band; what instrument they played, what bands they used to play in, and so on. He also knows every single word to every single song. After bringing home an album from the record store, Ed would open it up, listen to the record front to back while poring over the liner notes.
While I personally bought cassettes instead of record albums, I also pored over the liner notes. They were smaller, but with all the same information. (I, however, never memorized all the trivia that Ed did!) I didn’t mind the switch to CDs, since the liner notes actually got bigger and easier to read.
There are definitely advantages to buying digital. Ed wanted to get me a CD from a band we both like called SixWire, but they were only selling their album digitally. He burned it onto a CD, since he was going to wrap it up as a gift for me. Then, he ran into a snag. He needed a picture! A cover! Or the CD case would look rather plain. It took him a while to come up with a picture to print out for my present:
After all that work, Ed was not happy when his daughter decided to add her own personal touch to this album’s cover with her favorite color crayon.
With this digital revolution, however, I am at a loss as to what to read! I suppose I could go to the various websites to find lyrics, etc. Sometimes it’s just nice to have that information in hand, in an easy-to-read packet. Perhaps this nostalgia is why I am finding options to buy vinyl albums on Amazon. One of these days, I just may order an old-fashioned record.
Do you still purchase music? What form do you buy it in?