Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Cafetaria: book-related brain snacks

Something Up My Sleeve

My sister, after visiting me, pointed out that a lot of spots in Philly are pithily named: a grocery shop named Grocery, a bar named Bar, a flower shop named Orchid. Taking a page out of the succinctness book is... well, Book.

Designed by two bibliophiles in Minnesota, it's a book-like sleeve for digital reading devices. Books blog The Millions queries,
"Do you have an ereader but miss the look and feel of a gorgeous hardcover book? Do you want people to think you’re all about print when in fact you are riding the digital wave?"

I can't say the $89 price tag- handcrafted, 100% wool felt or not- is justifiable, but if I make the iPad/Kindle/Nook plunge I can do so with readerly pride intact, inasmuch as I'll be fooling neighbors with a clever disguise. There's a Twitter feed called CoverSpy that documents New Yorkers' reading material on subways and streets, in parks and bars. Each day, the prowling photo team posts real-time snapshots of such book covers, or else a standard image of a Kindle. With this Book sleeve, we can deceive the pesky CoverSpies and maintain the illusion of loyalty to traditional book publishing.

Another path to deception: the BookBook laptop cover.

The vintage leather-bound case by Twelve South is $79.99, $9.01 in the right budgetary direction but steep nonetheless. It's hand-distressed, akin to the manual labor applied to Book- it seems a lot of trouble is being taken with products like these to generate the artifice that we could accomplish by actually reading books. What a novel idea.

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