Thursday, 16 June 2011
Restless neophiliac that I am (hem hem), I've just been trying out one of these babies. It certainly has its attractions - smallness for a start (I love small books), and that thin paper, pleasingly reminiscent of India paper. It can be held open in the palm of one hand, and a whole stack of them would take up little space and weigh nothing much. However, there are drawbacks to that foredge-to-foredge layout. The text, though very clearly printed, looks crowded, with too little 'air' - largely because of the absence of the 'gutter' that separates facing pages in conventional format (and would break up the text in this format). And, although the Flipback sits flat most of the time, it doesn't really do so near the beginning or end of a volume (which makes the absence of gutter a problem) - and that thin paper makes it hard to turn over the pages. Still, I can see this format having its uses, if a wide enough range of titles is published - it would be handy for reading on the move and for packing when you're travelling light. Otherwise, no - it's not really a threat either to Kindle or to 'real books' - nor does it seriously claim to be. An attractive novelty though - and potentially a good gift idea (especially if you're posting).