Ron Charles at the Washington Post reports that YA author John Green is fronting a charge to bring a new format of book to America.
These Penguin Minis from Penguin Young Readers are not only smaller than you’re used to, they’re also horizontal. You read these little books by flipping the pages up rather than turning them across. It’s meant to be a one-handed maneuver, like swiping a screen.
Green first saw these so-called "Flipbacks" in the Netherlands, and he tells Charles he finds the format to be "really usable and super-portable.”
Reinventing the book — one of our species' oldest and best technologies — is a tall order. But I'd love to give the flipback format a try. When I'm on a standing-room-only light rail train, I'd genuinely enjoy a small, one-handed reading format that isn't a hideous glowing screen or a weird flickering e-ink reader. Even mass-market paperbacks are too cumbersome for Seattle's hyper-busy public transit. Maybe flipbacks will do the trick.