What can you do with a real book that you can’t do with, say, a Kindle or a Nook? A lot more than we thought possible, apparently! And while we’re happy to use digital ink to save trees from being turned into paper, it’s still pretty good to know the ebook vs real book debate is far from over.
To keep the debate raging, Flavorwire.com has an awesome compilation of really cool book designs that’ll make you rethink digital reads.
1. The book you have to destroy
There’s rarely a good reason to wreck a book, right? But what if the book itself asks for it? To read this edition of Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “The Imp of the Perverse,” the reader has to tear and fold parts of the book. Feeling conflicted about doing something you know you shouldn’t be doing? Well, that’s what Poe’s story is all about! Talk about user experience!
2. The book made out of coffee
I like a good book with a cup of good coffee, so there’s definitely room on my list for Coffee Stains, a book that puts the two things I like together: the book is about why coffee is good for you and it’s made of coffee residue. I bet it smells good too.
3. The book made out of mud
Personally, I like my book pages clean, crisp, and white, but I’m also a fan of handmade paper. The pages of the book Nile (Papers of River Muds) is made of pulp mixed with mud from rivers around the world, which is why the pages are in different shades of brown. Each page tells you the river the mud that made it came from!
4. The book that comes alive
I’d always been conflicted about using paper, because, you know, plants had to die for them to be made and all. But Grupo Zapping Comunicación, a Spanish agency, showed us that books can come back to life by creating these literal desktop jungle books to promote the movie The Jungle Book 2 some years ago. This is one book I wouldn’t feel bad about leaving out in the rain—but don’t leave it in your rain-soaked backpack or you’ll soon have a jungle in there.
5. The book you can plant
Speaking of jungle books, what about a book that can grow into a tree? Well, yes! The first edition cover of James Kaelan’s novel We’re Getting On was made out of birch seed paper. You can plant the book when you’re done with it and it can grow into a tree! Now, wouldn’t that be a cool reason to give when you tell your friend she can’t borrow your book?
6. The book you can move
These books by Circle Press—the collection, The Mechanical Word, has five volumes—feature moving poetry on pages with parts you can move. This is definitely not your usual pop-up book!
7. The book you can read in the dark
Well, at least the cover, that is. But isn’t this concept by Croatian designers Bruketa&Žinić amazing? It makes finding a book in the dark infinitely easier. Besides, wouldn’t it be nice to sleep to the softly glowing light of some of your best adventures?
8. The book you can cook
I’m sure I’m not the first person in the world to want to eat a page off a cookbook, so wasn’t it awfully brilliant of German design firm Korefe and Gerstenberg Publishing to produce a cookbook you can actually cook and eat? The pages are made of pure pasta, and the book is packaged to be cooked as lasagna! Best. Book. Ever. I can’t wait to have one in chocolate!