May I Have Your Autograph?

Signature of Abraham Lincoln.

Image via Wikipedia

You may have noticed I’ve had an unexpected theme going here.  It started with the future of bookshelves, then the future of the geologic makeup of earth and now the future of the autograph.  I can’t explain why I’m thinking about the future so much lately, but just go with me here.

A few months ago one of the lessons in the books I teach was about autographs and their value (I do not choose these books I assure you).  It talked about how the less someone signs things, the more its worth and about the autograph hunters who go get them so they can sell them online.  I believe it said that Abraham Lincoln’s autograph is worth the most because he did not sign much (probably due to that whole being shot at an earlier age part I’m guessing).

But what happens to autographs of the future when there is no paper or no books to write them on?  When all that remains are e-readers, will you walk up to Elizabeth Gilbert at a ‘book’ signing and say “Can you please sign my e-reader in the Eat Pray Love folder?”

How much will an electronic signature be worth if it can be copied and pasted and transferred to a multitude of gadgets so easily?   How will you show it off to your friends?  By adding it to your slideshow on your digital picture frame?

It brings to mind a My Fair Lady quote when Audrey Hepburn says “What’s to become of me?”  There are a lot of items up for obsolescence that should be asking themselves that very question.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Bookish Hobbit
    Sep 19, 2011 @ 02:37:36

    That’s a really good question. We rely on electronic devices so much nowadays. The less storage required is convenient, but there’s still something nostalgic about having paper copies of books sitting around. I have a few books I’m hoping to get signed from authors if they ever make an appearance within a reasonable driving distance from my home.


    • ficklefolly
      Sep 20, 2011 @ 02:43:36

      I know, I’m quite torn over it. I love love love love love books. The way they feel and the way they line up so organized and pretty like. Ahhh just makes me sigh. But I don’t know if the nostalgia and comfort of an actual book will win out in the end over convenience. :-/ Should be interesting to see how it all pans out… Best of luck getting your books signed!


  2. den
    Sep 19, 2011 @ 23:01:38

    You’re a teacher? Me too! Small world!


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