We're headed down a dangerous track. (Mel Evans / The Associated Press)
We’re headed down a dangerous track. (Mel Evans/Associated Press)

I’m so averse to this that I have got to try a verse
The news came in and made me want to yell and scream and curse
I’ll bid farewell to cursive and kiss BlackBerrys goodbye
And send typewriters up to join PalmPilots in the sky
I know that fashions pass away in tech as well as looks
But please oh please I beg you, world: Stop killing off the books.
This load of new technology is nothing but a swindle
And now look: An ambassador got sworn in on a Kindle.

Each time I think I’ve found a place that books will live forever
An innovation proves that it’s a bond we can dissever.
We all went to the FAA and did our best to grovel
Now planes let you keep cellphones on so you don’t need a novel
Forget the phone book, we’ve all got a phone book in our phone
Encyclopedias have gone the way of the dial tone
“Maleficent” is out; no need to read about a spindle
And now look: An ambassador got sworn in on a Kindle.

The subway has got WiFi, and if not, they’re working on it
There’s Google Glass so you can keep a cellphone in your bonnet
The dictionary is dot-com, notepads are Google docs
There’s never any need to think outside of the text box
E-readers are in vogue now, from the Nook to Kindle Fire
Which offers all the irony Bradbury could desire
Print’s fading faster than the presidential hopes of Bobby Jindal
And now look: An ambassador got sworn in on a Kindle.

I thought that it had gotten just as bad as it could get
Since libraries are just a place to surf the Internet
But I was wrong, oh, I was wrong, and now I’ve lived to see it
The ugly limit of the future? This just has to be it
I know that to extinction lots of noted books are li’ble
Still I thought: Hey, for swearings-in, you always need a Bible
Or a sacred text of other faith or bit of Constitution
In cases where there is no other passable solution
No matter what, no matter how, when bookstores all are gone
At swearings-in, the nation wide, the book will still live on
But no! Each day, the hopes for books we see steadily dwindle
And now look: An ambassador got sworn in on a Kindle.

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day.