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The Paper Future

By NerdNerd May 11, 2009


[Editor's Note: NerdNerd is supposed to run on Saturdays ... or Sundays, but it was a busy weekend.]


nerd11I can't wait for the future to get here already. Someday, when I am a real adult, I will not find half-empty cans of Hamms under my bed when I clean my room. Laundry will not be a once-monthly endeavor involving a camping backpack full of dirty clothes. And I will regularly eat food that does not include coffee.   


I'm not the only one looking forward; it seems like all the jibber jabber in the nerd world these days is all about the future. This week Amazon.com released its new-and-improved book-killer, the Kindle DX, moving us one peaceful step further along the path toward a Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey vision of the future, in which all books and most humans are just friendly holograms.  


Ironically, this week I made my very first book. I made it out of paper. Yes, paper. Remember paper? It smells good sometimes. This book was produced by an old piece of technology, newly acquired by the zine library (henceforth known as "paper museum") where I volunteer. The technology? An old school machine called the Bind Fast Five—which I think sounds like a literary superhero gang that has come to save books as they fall under the ray gun of the dreaded Blogsphere (and the Kindle DX). 


Today it rained as I rode my bike (which will still exist in the future) to the paper museum, and I got a flat tire (which will not). By the time I arrived and got to stacking the shelves, I was dripping deadly water on the bookshelves.


Justin, the library director, called me over to check out the prized Bind Fast Five machine. After a few weeks of reading the manual, Justin had figured out how to get it working. I cut a stack of paper with a large knife and piled it on top of the Bind Fast's long metal tray. Then I cut a cover from a piece of soft, heavy blue paper and pushed a bright red button. Bam! The Bind Fast Five swooped into action, running the paper over a waterfall of glue and smashing it permanently into the cover. Within seconds, I pulled my very own very real book (a blank journal waiting to be filled with scribblings from my quill?) hot off the press.  



In the future, I will be clean and dry and always buy the expensive organic toilet paper and do yoga daily and children will flock to my paper museum. They will run their fingers over the textured covers of paper blogs and stick their noses deep into the spines to smell glue and dust and history. Each of them will take home their very own book, which they can write on with pens or mail to friends via pneumatic tube. It will be EXCELLENT.
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