Ethan, this book will self-destruct in two months

For anyone with a large book collection, the idea of finally doing away with all the clutter has inevitably popped into their heads especially after they’ve come across the convenience and flexibility of e-books. Yes, the digital format is the hot new thing right now, and publishers of hardcovers and paperbacks are spiraling into oblivion. But there’s something special about a real, tangible book. Apart from the pleasure I get from flipping the pages, I’m really addicted to the smell of printed paper. The older the better.

But what about this new reading technology?

Book That Can't Wait

Eterna Cadencia, an independent publishing house in Argentina, has published El libro que no puede esperar (The Book That Can’t Wait), a hardcover with disappearing ink. The book comes sealed in a plastic wrapper, and once the covering is removed and the book comes in contact with sun and air, the ink begins to fade: you have two months to read it!

From the Los Angeles Times:

One of the reasons the publisher wanted to give the book urgency was that it wants readers to leap in and try reading works from new authors. The thinking goes, if new authors don’t get read, they can’t continue — but if they do get read, they can find footing on a career path of writing.

The publisher plans to use The Book That Can’t Wait’s disappearing ink platform for other books in the future. Until then, curious readers will have to wait for the next Book That Can’t Wait.

It’s a clever approach to motivate book buyers to read books more promptly, but what if I want to read it again? There are books worth reading more than once, and the second run offers emotional benefits to me.


Do you think it’s a good idea? Let us know in the comments section below this post.