Digital Dust · 27 February 2021

I wonder if digital books on digital bookshelves gather digital dust, just waiting to be read.

If you have books on bookshelves at home, you know that some of those books gather dust. They are those books that are not read often. The ones that sit there and sit there and sit there just waiting to be read. Not the reference books that you refer to often. Not the books that you read over and over and over again to your kids at bedtime. Not your favorites that you read every day or every year. The books that gather dust are the ones that you want to have, but just sit there forlorn, yearning to be read.

I wonder if digital books are like that too. I wonder if unread digital books gather digital dust.

I was pondering digital dust the other day when I thought about my own digital books. Not the ones I have read. Those are few and far between. No. I wonder about the digital books I have written. They sit there on the digital shelves waiting to be bought and read. As they sit there on the digital bookshelves, I wonder if they are gathering digital dust.

I wondered this lately because I found out that I had a bunch of book sales the last two quarters. That is right. Half a dozen people bought my books. Actually, I think that the half dozen bought the same book. Not that it matters much to me. I love it when anybody buys any of my books.

Those few precious sales were what got me thinking about my digital books gathering digital dust. I wondered if my digital books sitting on my digital bookshelf were gathering digital dust because nobody was buying them. It was a strange thought because I know that there is no such thing as digital dust on digital books. Digital books just sit there on a computer as a set of zeroes and ones. Actually, they probably sit on a few servers in different locations as sets of zeroes and ones. Just like any file. So they do not gather digital dust.

I suppose somebody could argue that a bit might get flipped randomly from time to time and that might be considered digital dust. Or a drive might fail somewhere and that would be a catastrophe, but it still would not cause digital dust. After all, it is not like the walls fall down or anything like that. And there are always backups for large distributors of digital content. So even though I can see the real dust accumulating in the bottom of my real computer when I clean it out from time to time, I cannot really think of what digital dust might be.

Still. I do wonder about those lonely digital books out there. I wonder if they sit there forlorn on those digital bookshelves gathering digital dust, just waiting to be read.

© 2021 Michael T. Miyoshi

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