I have been working on the book for more than a year, and finally it is available. Nickey Cilliers, a specialist publisher in Cape Town, is married to my niece, Karen Morkel and is publishing and distributing the book. The website has been key to this project. Over a period of more than ten years, the website has grown in scope and size. Apart from posting new information about the family from published sources, we have received contributions from a range of family and friends.
Now I have reworked much of the website into a printed book. Contributions from co-authors and contributors range from comments to chapters. We have tried to keep costs down without compromising quality (for example as author I and co-authors receive no royalties and Nickey does not charge a fee as publisher). Nickey organised colour printing at a reasonable cost, using his trade knowledge to good advantage.
MORKEL A Remarkable South Africa Family
Colour. 289 pages. Soft cover R270 plus postage.
Order books from: Nickey Cilliers Future Managers (Cape Town). Email: email@example.com. Cell no: 0833010813
Order CDs and Downloads at R150 (or a range of equivalent currencies from): Colin Pretorius, www.cdbooks-r-us.com
Why buy a book when the content is freely available on our website? Those that do will have their reasons, and I am comfortable that some will prefer the website and others the book. I see merits in both and, being responsible for this website, I clearly believe in its value. But I also love books and the new Morkel book is special. I can hold it in my hand, turn the pages, browse and read. I see where I am, at the beginning, halfway through or at the end. Look at the pictures and diagrams, spot read here and there, go back or forward a few pages with ease.
A book can be handed down to the kids and it could be around to pass on to the grandchildren and beyond. When that happens, it will still be readable. We cannot be so sure about digital versions. Will we be able to read this website or a CD in say fifty year’s time? Floppy disks and VHS videotapes of say 30 years ago, are already unreadable except by specialists. Will the situation be better in another 50 years? I doubt it. Phil Morkel published his book on the Morkel family more than 50 years ago in 1961. The book was typed on wax paper using the old manual typewriters and then Roneo reproduction machines were used to produce copies. This was the way copies were made in offices in those days. The quality was poor even at the time it was produced, but his books are still readable.
It was an amazing learning experience to write the book. I tell more about that in future Blogs.
Incidentally, we have changed the opening page for our website. It is now this page, our Blog, providing something new and topical from time to time (when I find time to write it:-). The old regular opening home page is still here, now shifted to “about”.