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The Living Book, “Recycling Its Soul”

At long last the book has left the shelf, hit the streets, and keeps on evolving using an ingenious barcode/twitter/cellphone set of strategies. Brazil’s editoras online bookstore put barcodes in the street so that people could, via their mobile phones, be presented with a phrase of love, or of hate, from twitter. Then a 200-page book was printed with the barcodes in it — barcodes which would in turn elicit changing sentences about love and hate (100 of each), changing each time one opens the book.

A simple idea, but one that undoutedly foreshadows an enormous amount of energy in creating new kinds of street-smart, chameleon-like volumes, updatable, unpredictable, intriguing and, one hopes, moving. The book’s Brazilian creators say that this book is “recycling its soul.” Not bad for a book. Imagine the many other uses - in poetry, photo essays, academic writing, journalism, etc., for similarly awakened books.

To see the YouTube video of the experiment click here. (Thanks to Jonathan Worth’s blog for first spotting this.)

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