And I don't mean e-books. The prospect of e-books frightens the life out of me, quite uncharacteristically since I normally love my gadgets. As a book-historian my heart bleeds at the thought of paper books disappearing, of generations growing up without the consolation and delight of paper books. The medium is sometimes the message, or at least an important part of the message, and I like the paper medium. Plus, if everyone's reading e-books, how can I snoop and see what people are reading on the tube?
No, I want to highlight another bookish innovation: the Dwarsligger. It's a book, a good old-fashioned paper one. But with a twist. Almost literally. They're half size paperbacks, on bible or onion paper, and flipped sideways so once you open them it's the size of a paperback (if you want to see more, check out the video). It's cute, it's handy (fits into my coat pocket), it allows me to read on the tube without having to stick my book in someone else's ribs. And it's a great new take on the book. If you read Dutch and live in the Netherlands, buy one. And let me know what you think.