Bookmark – The PhysiDigi Bookmark

If the pen can be mightier than the sword, can a bookmark be mightier than Amazon? Bow Software Ltd in the UK thinks so.  Using NFC technology, Charlotte Quickenden’s firm has committed “digital metonymy”:  a bookmark that delivers the book.

A PhysiDigi Bookmark is a physical form which acts as a digital trigger to download an ebook.  A PhysiDigi Bookmark has value, the value of the ebook that it opens for you to read. Therefore if you want to buy it, you purchase the ebook just as you would any other book by exchanging money with the vendor be that bookshop, venue or exhibition. The ebook is then yours. You own it, this is not an ebook lease controlled by DRM. If it’s a good ebook you can lend it, or,  if it was a present you can wrap it and gift it.  This physical digital thing is tactile, it has visual appeal, and through the act of acquiring it you will naturally have a closer connection to it than a box that you tapped ‘install’.  Charlotte Quickenden, MD, Bow Software Ltd., via Bookshops of the Future: Where Physical and Digital Co-exist.

NFC (Near Field Communication) is the wireless transmission of data from a hardware device to another physical object within 10 centimeters of the device.

  Both must have embedded NFC chips and antennas.  Quickenden hopes that her bookmarks with embedded NFC chips and antennas will level the playing field for bookstores, which for some publishers have fallen to less than 10% as a source of sales.   Listen to Quickenden describe the PhysiDigi bookmark and watch it in action.

 

Bookmark – Frankfurt,Typography and the Book

Boekwetenschap en Handschriftenkunde Amsterdam

rankfurt is upon us, so here is a celebration of type and the book.  The initial “F” comes from Boekwetenschap en Handschriftenkunde Amsterdam, where Paul Dijstelberge and others have posted over 30,000 photos of initials, ornaments and type in cooperation with the Special Collections, Amsterdam; the Royal Library, The Hague; and the Archive at Alkmaar.

Jaap Harskamp, Dijstelberge’s coauthor at In Loving Memory of the Book, an equally “voluminous” site, writes:

Much has been made in recent years about the emergence of the ebook and the ‘death’ of the printed book. Such discussions are fashionable and fruitless. As long as people read, the shape or form of the book is irrelevant. In fact, the ebook may well be a blessing in disguise for those who passionately defend the printed book. Photography did not kill off portrait painting as it was once feared; neither will the ebook refer the printed text to the dustbin of history.

Photography may not have killed off portaiture, but digital photography did kill off Eastman Kodak.   Which entities ebooks will see off will be debated until the event.   The shape or form of extended narrative and discourse, however, is surely not irrelevant.  The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore and the walk-in book exhibition Memory Palace at the Victoria & Albert Museum are recent evidence.  While more evidence may be adduced, do we need it to know that shape and form matter, or that we gather each year in Frankfurt to celebrate reading and its shape and form?