Ah, gentle reader, what of our written legacies?
As you know, I have some published works that have not been scattered widely–it has sold only, what, 100 copies, and mostly in Kindle? John Donnelly’s Gold was so narrowly distributed that I could easily determine who traded them in at a used book store.
- It looks like the copy I sent to Roberta X sold in Indianapolis, finally Well, alright, maybe that’s a bit optimistic; just because it’s no longer in the store’s inventory does not mean it sold–it could have gotten donated to a book sale or put in the dumpster to make room for something that might sell.
- I see a copy in LA that I inscribed to a client in New York is up for sale for a reasonable price–I think I will order it.
- There’s a copy in Washington–would that be one of the beta readers from almost 20 years ago that has moved up there to work for Microsoft.
- Et cetera.
It’s kind of like how I know you’ve visited my blog, gentle reader. There’s not exactly a lot of noise in the stat counter to obscure you personally.
I was quite the letter writer in college; I sent out reams of letters to family and friends in those lonely years before the Internet. Although I have kept electronic copies of each, migrated as is my wont all the way up from the 286 PC clone I was running then (and another although, although I probably still have electronic copies of letters I produced with Bank Street Writer) on floppies in the store room. I have all the letters my friends and family sent me in hard copy, though, and I have electronic copies of letters I have written since, with modern computers, but I am pretty sure that the printed letters I’ve sent to my correspondents are in the landfill by now. They’re almost all dead by now.
The short stories, novel attempts, and recent poems (not included in Coffee House Memories) are on the computer in electronic form. I will carry them forward, computer to computer, and back them up, but.
Like this blog. I’ve used it as a running commentary on books, politics, life, and humor for almost twenty years. It has some good stuff on it, a lot of detritus, but when I pass on, it like the electronic copies of things I’ve written will be forgotten, hundreds of thousands of words unread, turned off. I will not even be ephemera in someone’s basement or an antique mall somewhere.
Why, yes, in researching a post, I saw that Charles Hill’s life’s work is gone, Dustbury.com now forwarding to an amateur marketing site for some twee application.