These are the kinds of questions we’ve been asking ourselves (and people have been asking us) a lot. And the thing is, we don’t know. But we have been thinking about it and at least for now, our answer comes in two (related) parts.
First up is: why bemoan the loss of scrappy beach holiday reads, the environmentally unfriendly Tesco (or: Walgreens for you Americans) 3 for 2 paperback shelf fillers? We would rather those lived on Kindle. The thing is, books need a reason to be printed, there’s got to be something about that reading experience that can only live on the page. Our second book, Tree of Codes by Jonathan Safran Foer, is completely die-cut. It’s a paperback book on the outside, that when opened, is a sculptural object. A sculptural object that has a story, that you can read. That kind of tactile, sensory experience you just can’t have on screen.
The second part of our answer, though, is this. We keep thinking of our books as more than just objects, we think of them as experiences. So, we need to think about how best to bring a story to life in whatever form that is. Like IDEO’s imagining of Alice, or Jonathan Safran Foer and Orhan Pamuk talking about the book as an object at the forthcoming New Yorker Festival.
What we’re really talking about is the storytelling experience and how we can best add to those in a way that nurtures our minds and imaginations rather than taking away from them because of the usual constraints, formulas, or worse: down right dullness.
Page? screen? We’re in.
Anna and Britt