Patrick Rhone of The Cramped, one of my favourite “analogue writing” blogs has been interviewed for a new book by David Sax called The Revenge of Analog. Patrick has a good point as he reproduces an excerpt from the book:
A funny thing happened on the way to the digital utopia. We’ve begun to fall back in love with the very analog goods and ideas the tech gurus insisted that we no longer needed. Businesses that once looked outdated, from film photography to brick-and-mortar retail, are now springing with new life. Notebooks, records, and stationery have become cool again. Behold the Revenge of Analog.
There’s no denying there’s a load of nostalgia around. I’ve written many times about my love of fountain pens and notebooks and I detect a resurgence in the habit of putting things on paper rather than tapping on the screen of an iPhone.
Similarly, the resurgence of film photography is a definite trend, especially among the younger generation. Leica’s film cameras, particularly the M3, M2, M4 and M6, are having something of a renaissance. Prices are rising. And as far as I know, Leica is the only company still making film cameras, including the M7, MP and M-A (a modernised M3 lookalike).
Sadly, I think digital rot has now gained a firm grip. There’s no chance of computers, smartphones and digital cameras disappearing from our lives; all we can expect is an increasing appreciation that there is an alternative out there. I would never suggest going back to the typewriter (much as I love the mechanical writing experience) and I would be pretty miserable if I had to return completely to hand-written notebooks, journals and physical archiving. And keeping my accounts in a bound ledger, as I once did, seems positively pre-historic.
There is a place for digital in our lives. We are more efficient, we are exposed to so much more information than was possible only twenty years ago. While it is fashionable to decry the digital age and lust after analogue techniques of yesteryear, there are limits. I take the best of both worlds.
You can pre-order The Revenge of Analog here but it is currently available only in hardback at a rather hefty £17.99. As usual, I shall wait until I can download my DIGITAL Kindle copy. But I shall read it with an open mind.