Curiouser and Curiouser: eBooks within Books

I don’t know how to feel about this one (news courtesy of @bookbench).

“How To Make a Kindle Cover from a Hollowed Out Hardback Book” is a rather clever compromise for people who appreciate the gadgetness of the Kindle, but still have a preference for that reassuring feel of a printed book. A few noteworthy thoughts on the sameness and difference of the reading experience:

“But each reading feels the same. The only difference is the words you read and your reaction to them. You begin to miss that sometimes rough feel of a hardback book, along with the slick, almost slippery design of a paperback. Each book seems to have a smell of its own, something unique. And getting your hands dirty with ink from the finely written words was half the journey.

To take some liberties with paraphrasing, it seems that all eBook readings are the same, but all print book readings are unique in their own way:

“The Kindle erases that part of your reading experience. It feels the same, smells the same and even looks the same. Instead of turning pages, which is different sizes, thicknesses and colors from book to book, you’re pressing the same button over and over again.”

The Kindle-in-a-book cover is the result of a self-described “nerd project for the weekend.” I do have to give him this much credit — at least the symbolism isn’t lost on him: “I decided to carve out the pages of a printed book and thus complete the poetic circle of digital book readers destroying the printed word.”

I don’t think I could bring myself to mutilate a book even if to add a more nostalgic feel to Kindle reading (can we feel nostalgic about something that isn’t even gone yet? Hmm).

Books as both a literal and figurative location for hidden things seem to be a rather popular topic, because there is a whole jumble of information online about how to conceal objects within books (even a Wikipedia article — interesting to note how much hiding the use of books for clandestine purposes continues to play upon our collective imagination). Here’s one good set of instructions on how to make a hollow book. Good for hiding all sorts of stuff, like flasks, it seems.

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I run the ThinkLab at the University of Cambridge, and research digital habits, productivity, and wellbeing.

tyler shores cambridge

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