The literary world is always trying to find ways to reinvent itself. (After all, we do have the looming horror of Amazon drones to compete with.) One of the most recent efforts is Brazil-based Penguin-Companhia’s “smart bookmark,” which uses a light sensor, timer and miniature wifi-enabled computer to detect when you’ve been neglecting a book. That’s not all: If you have been ignoring your read, you will receive a tweet from the author encouraging you to pick it up again.
While its fun to imagine receiving personal tweets from your favorite authors, it’s also hard not to think about the disappointment each writer would feel receiving notifications about their life’s work being ignored. It also begs the question: What would some of our most celebrated authors have to say to you if you put down their books? We’re already imagining the possibilities:
My book died today. Or yesterday maybe, I don't know. I got a tweet at home: "Life's work abandoned. Contact reader."
This book scraped me right down to the marrow of my bones. It nearly killed me. What is it doing gathering dust, hmm?
One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not read well. Don’t let the book just sit there.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez:
What is that ― the scent of bitter almonds? Must be the scent of unrequited love, my dear reader.
The person, be it gentleman or lady, who ditches a good novel for Facebook, must be intolerably stupid.
So it goes.
There is no greater agony than bearing an unread book on your bedside table.
F. Scott Fitzgerald:
You know, actually, books are the rose-colored glasses of life. I’ll show you a real tragedy, you romantic fool.
This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.