EL DIA, INFORME 21 (Argentina)

Worldcrunch

BUENOS AIRES - We know that the news never waits, neither do trains nor time itself. But a good ol’ fashioned book…well, we used to think that it could just sit up there forever on the bookshelf, gazing down, waiting until whenever to crack it open and devour what’s inside.

But not so fast – or slow. The Argentinean publishing house Eterna Cadencia is challenging that treasured relationship, as a way to emphasize the urgency of new literature – and physical books themselves, in the face of the e-books of the digital revolution.

The publisher has launched “The Book That Can’t Wait” (ironically, the name of the publisher of the ephemeral book contains the word “eternal”). As the Argentine El Dia newspaper reports, “El Libro que No Puede Esperar” is printed with disappearing ink that simply fades away in two months time. The books are sealed in a plastic wrapper, which once removed, sees the ink beginning to fade. Sixty days later, the reader remains with nothing but the covers and a bound bunch of blank pages.

Hey, why didn't Jeff Bezos think of that??

The Buenos Aires-based publishing house said that the aim of this project is to promote young authors, who have trouble selling their books. The Argentinean website Informe21 describes the project in a more dramatic way: “In order to force us to read, they created books with disappearing ink.”

In just the first few months, the small publisher says it sold its entire batch of the intriguing books. This may be the ultimate proof that there is still life in the printed word, or perhaps a bizarre final gasp before Amazon and friends make it so literature is as eternal as it is unbounded.

Here’s another recent twist on the tenuous state of the printed book. Courtesy of some wise guys from Spain: