Saturday, July 21, 2012
We Will Read No Book Before Its Time
Have you heard about El Libro que No Puede Esperar? That title is translated to English as “The Book That Cannot Wait.” Y’know that pile of books next to your bed, or desk, or couch, that seems to get larger instead of smaller? How about all of those books you bought for your e-reader that you’ll never live to read (but you keep buying more of )? El Libro que No Puede Esperar is an innovation that is supposed to break you of the habit through behavior modification.
El Libro que No Puede Esperar is an anthology of original short stories which has been published in Argentina. It is printed in…disappearing ink. You buy it shrink-wrapped, but once the buyer (and prospective reader) tears the plastic off the ink will fade and disappear after two months. And if you actually open the book and start reading, each page that you read is further exposed to air, so that the disappearance process accelerates. Read a page today, and the print on that page will disappear in two weeks. The owner of the book is ultimately left with a bunch of hardbound blank pages to use as a journal, or to doodle on, or for perhaps another use or two which I can think of but won’t mention. Yes, you could buy the thing and leave it shrink-wrapped for eternity, but then you’d have one of those Schrodinger’s Cat situations going on, so what would be the point? That might be a bad question to ask a guy with 20,000 comic books in his house, but that’s another topic for another time.
The idea behind this whole thing is to encourage people who buy El Libro que No Puede Esperar to actually read it. It is apparently doing very well in Argentina and the previously unpublished authors who were con…er, I mean, whose stories were selected for inclusion in this collection are also enjoying a certain notoriety.
I am not making this up. Am I missing something here? Does this appeal to you? Or does it leave you as cold as it does me? If you would buy a book like this, what would you be willing to pay for it? And authors…would you want a story in a collection in this format? For myself, I want to read a book when I want to read a book, and if I buy it, I’m not going to be forced into reading it under threat of disappearing ink. But that’s just me. What do you think? Does this format, or whatever you want to call it, have legs? Or has its time gone before it has arrived?
You can get more information here: