Saturday, May 18, 2013

GREEN isn't always GOOD

An English teacher/friend just came to my desk with her four year old copy of A TALE OF TWO CITIES.  She uses this book in some of her classes and, admittedly, has it open quite often.  She has notes all over it, circled words, etc., etc.,.  Here's the rub:

The book is four years old and falling apart much quicker than any book she's had in her schooling or 15 year teaching career.   She showed it to me, and told me her students have the same problem with only having gone through this book once;   the paper is so thin that more than half the pages have fallen out, necessitating going through and putting them in again by page number, etc etc.  The book is a complete MESS and so are those of her kids.  

She laughed as she showed me what's causing this.... inside the front pages is a little note from 'greenpenguin.co.uk" (penguin being the publisher as most of you will recognize, 'green' being the acknowledgement of how cool they are).  The note says:
"Penguin Books is committed to a sustainable future for our business, our readers and our planet.  The book in your hands is made from paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council."

Here is something similar to what our English teacher and my dear friend is going to respond with:

"Penguin Books should be committed instead to the wiser choice of printing their paperbacks with a higher grade of paper.  In the past, with better paper, my books have lasted and I'd not be faced with having to buy another book so soon and have to mark my new book with the hundreds of notations I need from the one that's falling apart.  Yes, this does make for a more "sustainable future for" your business because I'm faced with having to purchase yet another book so soon, but are your sales what 'green' should be used for?   And is it 'greener' to have to keep cutting more trees down because the paper derived from them doesn't last or is it 'greener' to make the fine, strong quality of paper we used to experience in books that last on our shelves for years?  Which is truly better for the planet, to talk the green talk or walk the effective walk?"

Myself?  I'd start my note to Penguin with, simply, "Penguin Books should be committed."  :-)

Is this typical leftwing greenery run amuck?  I think so.  So does she.

What do you think?

Z

39 comments:

Ed Bonderenka said...

"Is this typical leftwing greenery run amuck?"
What is there about leftwing greenery that doesn't run amuck?

Always On Watch said...

Penguin Books used to publish books that stayed together even after years of use.

In fact, I have a 1973 edition of 1001 Arabian Nights published by Penguin, and the copy has stayed in one piece since 1999 even though I have used the edition to teach at least three times in the teaching of World Literature.

The problem that you posted about, Z, is not limited to Penguin. The new editions of softbound textbooks, some of which I use to teach courses in the homeschool group with which I'm affiliated, fall apart far sooner than the older editions did. These softbound textbooks are expensive, too.

JonBerg said...

I suspect that the printing industry, in general, is in trouble. Perhaps, in this case, the "Green" bull$#!t is just a cover (no pun intended) for cost cutting measures.

FreeThinke said...

Jon Bewrg is correct. The quality of nearly EVERYTHING has degraded immeasurably, but it's been DOING SO for DECADES.

I remember my father railing on about "Built-In Obsolescence" when I was a child sixty-five years ago.

Once Industry discovered it could make MORE MONEY by producing items DELIBERATELY DESIGNED to FALL APART, thus forcing "consumers" to REPLACE them, because parts (of course!) are no longer available, it's been downhill all the way.

This Green Craze is just another in a long line of stupid "FADS." Unfortunately GOVERNMENT and INDUSTRY are now WEDDED in a de facto conspiracy against PUBLIC INTEREST, and so not only are we being SEDUCED by CORRUPT industrial magnates into parting with more of our money than we properly should, we are ALSO being FORCED at the point of GUN to do so by GOVERNMENT.

TSWS said...

The Forest Stewardship Council.
.
And there you have it, Thinking that if they have a oversite committee that is in no way beneficial for nothing except for their feel good selves-wreaking unintended consequences on everybody else.

FreeThinke said...

Another sad, dreary thing we must consider:

"PRINTED BOOKS are on their way OUT."

So are newspapers and magazines. Soon EVERYTHING will be either ONLINE or in your KINDLE or your NOOK.

Public Libraries, as we knew them, are DYING OUT.

The potential EVILS in these developments should be obvious, but not to the young -- or to those devoted to being "trendy."

How in Heaven's name could put notes in the margins, or circle particular words and phrases in a VIRTUAL book?

How could we lovingly preserve "virtual books" as cherished relics from our childhood -- loved as much because Mom and Dad READ to US FROM that very copy -- or Aunt So-and-So gave it to us for our seventh birthday with a special inscription on the flyleaf? Or because we were reading that VERY COPY when the terrible news arrived that our father had just suffered a stroke -- or our favorite uncle had been killed in the war -- or our cousin had just had her baby?

As our existence becomes more and more VIRTUAL, it becomes less and less REAL and worth remembering.

Mustang said...

The print industry is on it's final legs. The new wave will be electronic readers, such as you find offered at the major book stores, and tablets, and lap tops.

That's my take ... and once that conversion has been made, watch the prices go sky high for book downloads.

JonBerg said...

Kind of off-topic but.......

The other day I happened to be in a trendy area of Denver: coffee shops, arts & crafts, etc. I observed that about half of those persons, lolygging about, were totally mesmerized as they stared into their various little gadgets while punching those little buttons. I expected that any minute I would see one wander out into the traffic and get killed thus providing a photo-fest for the others. Then I thought how cool it would be, to be an artist and what a great surreal subject this scene provided. I believe that I would title the product: LIFELESS !

Pris said...

Too bad these books are not sustainable for the future!

My grandson loves books, and I always buy him hardcovers. He refuses to buy a kindle. He likes the "real thing".

If you want a beautifully created hardcover, for a special person, buy an Easton Press book. Leather bound with gold edged pages. Yes these are expensive, but for that special person in your life it's worth it.

As for this "green" thing, to me it's a ruse no matter what it's used for! The main thing this term is used for is controlling us, and how we live our lives. Saving the planet? Give me a break!

Pris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Thersites said...

Selling e-Books is "greener"... and when the media format changes, you can sell the reading rights ALL OVER again!

Ed Bonderenka said...

That's good JonBerg.

Impertinent said...

@Pris:


Thanks for the tip...we here at notre maison Imp love the real thing too and our library is chock full of them.

I could never read a "book" on a Kindle...although I've tried. They just don't feel the same, smell the same and sound the same when you turn the pages...as a good book does.

Dervish Sanders said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Law and Order Teacher said...

Z,
I'm with most of the people here. I need a book to hold in my hand. Turning pages, smelling a new book, and feeling the accomplishment of finishing the book. Can't beat it.

Lady Gunslinger said...

I am shocked!

Shocked that democrats have not proposed a "Banning Paper Book Law" yet.

Always On Watch said...

Not long ago, my class was discussing the advantages and disadvantages of electronic books after the class had finished reading Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451.

One student, an electronics nerd, pointed out that it would be easy for the powers that be to erase an electronic book unless one has taken certain precautions when downloading. A lot of e-material is stored in the cloud, and material can indeed vanish from the cloud.

Some e-readers do not even offer the preservation options the student mentioned.

Dervish Sanders said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Always On Watch said...

Dervish,
I'll thank you not to attribute thoughts and views to me -- thoughts and views that I do not hold.

I DID say that politicians are snakes -- regardless of political party.

Oh, and my avatar is gender accurate. I am a woman.

PS: I am not registered as a Republican or a Democrat. From day one, I have been registered as an Independent.

Always On Watch said...

Impertinent,
I could never read a "book" on a Kindle...although I've tried. They just don't feel the same, smell the same and sound the same when you turn the pages...as a good book does.

I have a Kindle and a Kindle Fire; I use both of those devices from time to time, especially when certain materials are available only in Kindle format (The Hoosier Schoolmaster, for example). However, I prefer "the real thing" -- for exactly the reasons you mentioned.

Ed Bonderenka said...

Dervish is stating that AOW is "blowing smoke".
Yet everything AOW wrote is either true for personal experience (her class) or from technology (e-reader documents in the cloud.
That's a made up mind, there.

I only prefer books for convenience.
Most people won't walk off with them if you leave them out.
You can leave a different one in each room (including the bathroom).
What's not to like?

Always On Watch said...

FT,
Here in Northern Virginia, the public libraries are still thriving. However, shelves are being purged of "unpopular books," may of which are classics or near-classics. For example, Lonnie Coleman's books are no longer available at the public library. Amazon carries Coleman's books, but they are pricey.

Dervish Sanders said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JonBerg said...

What, on Earth, does today's topic have to do with Obama's numerous scandals? Well, on second thought, why question someone who is, obviously, not playing with a "full deck"! You know who you are.

Always On Watch said...

Hey, Dervish!

To my knowledge, Shaw has not invited me to leave, nor has she so implied. Until such time, I will comment there.

I do visit sites that are owned by those with whom I don't agree. I seek out reasoned discussion in many locations because it is my nature to learn about others' views -- and not to hurl barbs, either.

There may be several reasons that people here often agree with me. One of those reasons: I've been commenting in this circle for years. You, on the other hand, are a newbie here. Furthermore, you seem to be seeking the status of a troll. Your problem -- not mine.

BTW, I have not opted for comment notification for this thread because I have other matters to which to attend. Just so you know that I may not be back to respond.

Impertinent said...

@Lady Gun:

Shocked that democrats have not proposed a "Banning Paper Book Law" yet."


Wait till some "Bible Thumper" beats some bugger thief over the head with one...then they'll propose a ban. / sarc on

Impertinent said...

@AOW:

"However, I prefer "the real thing" -- for exactly the reasons you mentioned."

Thanks Dear Lady...I knew there had to be a few of us out there that still felt passionate about that.

Z said...

what the heck is DERVISH; somebody delete a comment by this person?

geeeez...sounds like a real 'winner'!


Everybody; I suppose I'll buy a Kindle some day but NOT SOON. I LOVE a book in my hands.

AOW, I'm sure it's not limited to penguin, but that was my case in point!

Speedy G said...

o/t - This is how Socialists deal with dissent in Venezuela...

Law and Order Teacher said...

Z,
This is symptom of what we're in for in the future. Progressivism is a scourge on humanity. I posted about it. We're in trouble.

Kid said...

Take any environmental issue you want, and the agenda behind it (from the government POV) has NOTHING to do with the environment.

Kid said...

BTW - We Grow trees to make paper. We have More Trees because of paper.

Always On Watch said...

Z,
I think that Dervish itself removed some of its own comments.

LeftofLeft said...
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LeftofLeft said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
LeftofLeft said...
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cube said...

I would refrain from buying Penguin books. Once again, a case of liberals running face first into the law of unintended consequences. But you know, they meant well.

Z said...

cube "they meant well"
GOod one :-)
Don't all the libs who thought everybody should own a house and so it's the poor they screwed the hardest when they lost their homes?
I could go on and on about the liberals "helping"....

#(&(#$&(&(#&$

Dervish Sanders said...

AOW: I think that Dervish itself removed some of its own comments.

No, that isn't what happened. Click the "Dervish Sanders" profile link and the profile for "Speramus Meliora; Resurget Cineribus" comes up. I was spoofed. You'd have to ask SMRC why he deleted the comments. I'm only seeing this now so have no idea what he said while spoofing me.