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Summit up

Summit up
Special to the Daily Look who's turning sweet 16! Happy birthday Bri. We love you. Mom, Dad and Haley.

Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column sensing a senior prank coming on since the end of the school year is upon us.We were sitting around at the Corporate Suites on Thursday reminiscing about our own senior prank days. One of our cohorts here said their senior class prank involved a dome on top of the school that looked like a part of the female anatomy and a can of flesh colored paint. The principal called it “tasteless.” We’re still scratching our heads as to why.Another mate here said their class spelled out their graduating year in plastic forks on the football field. Oh, they must have been laughing for days about pulling that one off.One of our classes didn’t have a senior prank. We think they lacked the school spirit – or the attention span.One of our rival high schools pulled off the prank of all pranks: An outbreak of syphilis among the students. That’s a real knee slapper for sure.

Someone even made a documentary about it. We know because we had to watch it in a college sociology class and write a paper about it.That’s the kind of prank that just keeps on giving.*** Speaking of writing …The point of publishing a book is that someone, actually a lot of someones, will read it.But we’ve come across some startling statistics.In this new age of consumer-generated media – such things as blogs, personal websites and self-publishing software, which potentially allow every man, woman and child to be not just media consumers but also media vendors – there comes the question of who’s going to read all this stuff?According to a study done by one company that specializes in book publishing the answer is simple: Over time not nearly enough people.

There was a time when the economics of printing, marketing and distributing books made it nearly impossible for all but a few lucky writers to become, well, authors. Now, web-based publishers make it possible for just about anyone to publish a book. Of course, there’s no guarantee the book will get read. In fact, according to projections compiled by Lulu, which owns iPublis, the number of Americans who write and publish books is on track to exceed the number who actually read them. Here’s the math they used. The number of books published in America last year hit a record 195,000 – a 14 percent increase compared to the previous year, by the way. A survey published last year by the National Endowment for the Arts showed the percentage of Americans who read books has steadily declined over the last 20 years. Only 57 percent – 164 million Americans – of the U.S. population now read even one book a year. That’s a decline of 4 percent in a decade. Based on those trajectories, Lulu calculated that by the middle of the century 148 million books will be published for only 129 million readers. In other words, 19 million new books in 2050 will not find a single reader, including, presumably, their own authors. We thought that somewhat specious until we saw another statistic. In present time, not in 50 years, there is a new book published every 30 seconds.Suddenly publishing Armageddon, or should it be Authororgeddon as Lulu puts it, doesn’t seem so far away.We’re going to curl up with a good book and think about this some more.***

Where there’s a good deed, there’s a Scum Alert!! Scum Alert!!. This one comes from Sara of Breckenridge.She writes: “One thing that I cherish so much about this town is the sense of community and the low crime rate. “I live on Peak 8 and came home from enjoying the Memorial Day weekend to find that some Scumbag had hit my parked car, pushing it onto the grass and causing almost $500 in damage. I grew up in a small tight-knit community, and honestly, I expect more from people who live here too. “I know that this kind of thing happens everyday in bigger cities, but I wanted to report a qualified scum alert for all of us who still have the common courtesy to leave a note when we damage someone else’s car. Thanks for your time.”Sara, we hope someone can help, or the culprit turns themselves in. If not, we know the karma police will penalize the scumbag with a thousand broken hearts.***It’s Friday, and we hear the rain’s acomin’. Call us at (970) 668-3998, ext. 237, or drop a line at if you can tell us about that sensation of a storm’s first raindrop falling on your head.

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