Scratched hums and plucked banjo strings bounced against the red brick walls lining the outdoor courtyard of my favorite bookstore. A woman with a reaper tattoo and a tightly worded inscription on her forearm spun in rhythm with a dark-eyed fella. A pit bull strutted between tables, tail wagging, smiling slightly, attention hunting. A harmonica joined the band. Bluegrass roared.
As I listened, I saw a man reading Bad Monkey—Carl Hiassan’s romp about bumbling characters involved in a South Florida mystery. This evening marked the third time in two weeks that I had seen someone reading Bad Monkey (the first occurred at Reagan National in DC and the second at my local coffee shop).
I had never heard of Bad Monkey until it was included on the title list for the Navy’s inaugural NeRD order. Sitting in the courtyard sipping my glass of Malbec, I thought, wow, three times in two weeks that I’ve seen someone enjoying this book, this Bad Monkey must be damn good.
This moment reminded me that content is always king. Yes, the eReader solution we helped develop overcomes storage limitations on submarines and security restrictions to deliver a book collection where it wasn’t previously possible. But it is the content—those fall in love with and can’t stop turning the page stories—that will truly help the program enrich lives.
Whether it’s on an eReader, a blog, in a conversation with friends, business venture, our character, or really anything, substance speaks the truth about who we are, what we value, and the meaning we provide to others. Are we honest, truthful, and caring? Did we act with integrity?
In the end, content is always what matters.