Post-Gutenberg Bible Salesmen. Learn about two successful young entrepreneurs who strive to make the Bible… good-looking.
You read that right, good looking. As in attractive. With lots of pretty pictures!
Incidentally, did I mention? Short & cute excerpts of the Bible that these two guys are selling… are for adults?
Meet Millennial Bible Simplifiers Bryan Ye-Chung and Brian Chung. Heroes, perhaps, of our new post-Gutenberg era. Making good money through their so-pure versions of scripture, tasty as candy, sold through their Alabaster imprint.
And who’s most likely to be living post-Gutenberg? Millennials, or those even younger.
You know, the target market for books by Bryan and Brian.
Sure, it seems paradoxical. Since millennials are the best-educated generation in America. Many still read books. But maybe, a couple years out of school, they lose the reading habit. While others in their cohort never get that habit at all.
But before we go any further…
Gutenberg? What’s That?
Gutenberg editions of the Christian Bible were the first printed books ever made. Sales of the Gutenberg edition of the Bible ushered in a new era of universal literacy.
Accordingly, what about word literacy, like yours and mine? It could also be called Gutenberg literacy.
If you still have it, enjoy it while it lasts. Because all signs point towards people shifting into a post-Gutenberg era.
Which would mean what?
Folks Live POST-Gutenberg…
- When they seldom read books any more.
- If they think paying money to buy books is a ridiculous waste of cash.
- When they really believe that a picture is worth 1,000 words! So why bother reading anything without an accompanying illustration?
- When the “beauty” of Facebook isn’t the rare bit of personal writing. Instead, it’s all about the pretty pictures. And the recycled sayings.
- Even you, the smart-and-curious readers of an uncommonly sophisticated blog… When was the last time you read a book? (Whether a print book or an audiobook.)
Overall, the decline in literacy is well documented by now. Many people have squandered their reading time on tweets and social media communications. Unintended consequence? They’ve lost the ability to read in depth. To read detailed blog posts, like those we have here. Daring to buy actual books. To seek knowledge that requires book-length format to do it justice.
Personal growth and spiritual awakening? Why would the old-fashioned technology of “books” be relevant anymore?
A Post-Gutenberg Era Might Be Starting
What’s your opinion about that? Do you care, either way?’
Personally, when I read that Post article yesterday, I felt somebody slapped me right in the face. Let me quote from this article in The Washington Post” — Profiling two recent converts to Christianity who proudly publish, “An Instagram-worthy Bible aimed at millennials.”
I’m curious, for instance, about your reaction to this backstory:
A 20-year-old college student at the University of Southern California at the time, he’d recently converted to Christianity and was eager to plunge into the scripture that he’d heard so much about.
There was just one problem, Chung recalls: “I didn’t want to read it.”
The text was small and serious-looking…. Outside, the cover was solid black and intimidating…. the “good book” looked surprisingly bad.
You can see samples of Bryan and Brian’s merchandise here. Noteworthy: The Chungs are selling individually packaged biblical texts. Prices start at $30 for single books. But cost as much as $155 for packages of six books.
Hey, I’ll throw in one more quote from the Post article. This quote gives you, in a nutshell, a viewpoint tied to today’s decline in literacy:
“It’s all about the experience,” said Doug Lockhart, senior vice president of Bible marketing and outreach at HarperCollins Christian Publishing.
“Even the packaging of the premier collection Bibles, the unboxing experience is similar to an iPhone experience.”
Many of you Blog-Buddies are avid readers. Some of you are also writers. Others are librarians.
Please comment below if, for you, the most exciting aspect of reading a book is NOT the “unboxing experience”?
In this context, I think of my friend Karen Kline. Once I asked her if she had seen a popular movie, based on a book. She told me, “No. You see, for me the experience of reading a good book is far more vivid than any movie could be.”
Back to you, what do you think? Are full-length books relevant any more? Or are they just too haaaaaaard to reeehd?
Tomorrow I’ll give you some aura reading of Bible salesmen Bryan Ye-Chung and Brian Chung.