cover image The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter

The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter

David Sax. PublicAffairs, $25.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-61039-571-7

In this study of consumerism in the 21st century, Sax (Save the Deli) sets out to prove that nostalgia is not the sole reason for the resurgence of vinyl records, film cameras, paper notebooks, and bookstores in an era dominated by digital technology. He travels across the United States, Canada, and Italy, visiting factories and startups, stores and cafes, where the focus is on solidifying a place for analog technologies and goods in a world full of screens, instant messages, and almost endless digital choices at one’s fingertips. Lastly, he investigates the meditative practices of executives in Silicon Valley and returns to a summer camp he attended as a child outside of Toronto, discovering how the people one might most expect to be glued to their illuminated screens–computer programmers and kids–are limiting technology’s place in their lives. Sax’s message is that digital technology has certainly made life easier, but the analog technologies of old can make life more rich and substantial. This book has a calming effect, telling readers, one analog page at a time, that tangible goods, in all their reassuring solidity, are back and are not going anywhere. Agent: Robert Guinsler, Sterling Lord Literistic. (Nov.)