These days when we write about traditional books, it’s usually to showcase a way to recycle or reuse them. In a world where libraries are closing their doors forever in many cities, it’s refreshing to see some innovation when it comes to old-fashioned books. This is a very creative idea, and from what I’ve read, people either love it or hate it. There doesn’t seem to be much in the middle as far as opinions go with this one.
Publisher Eterna Cadencia wanted to find a way to create a sense of urgency when it comes to reading books. If you are like many people, there are books sitting on your bookshelf that you put there with the intention of reading, and you just haven’t gotten around to it yet. Sometimes books can sit on shelves for years before being read, and Eterna Cadencia wanted to find a way to motivate people to read them now.
What was the result? This is called The Book That Can’t Wait. It’s a book written with invisible ink, and there are about to be many more books published this same way too. It’s a special ink which responds to air and light, so the book is permanent until it’s opened, and then once the air and light hit it, it’s on a 2-month lifespan. That’s right, it will basically self-destruct in two months. The invisible ink will make all the text in the book disappear after that much time has passed.
The people who don’t like this idea say that now they can’t buy a bunch of books at one time and page through them all, they can’t give used books to charity since they will be useless after two months, they won’t be able to read the books a second time if they really liked them, and they will feel rushed. The people who like the idea say that now they will have an incentive to finish that book they started. They say it will help new authors to get the exposure they deserve since people will actually read their books, and it’s just the little push people need to read. Where do you stand? Is it stupid or smart?