The SlowBook

A SlowBook will be a book whose structure affords and allows only slow turning of pages, so that each opening spread is savoured and reflected on.
An engagement of the senses in the book: not only the “flutter of wind” from the page, but the engagement of senses in the hand and arm that dwells on turning the page.
So for a bookbinder, the question is, what’s the mechanism? how stiff are the pages, how constrained is the movement? Heath Robinson, steampunk?


Carolingian electronic book

Hit recently by an inspiration-particle involving electronically enhanced books (that I may describe later, as the idea develops further) I went looking for the right term for it. E-books (enhanced), t-books (technical), a-biooks (augmented), s-books (sensitive)… all have too many other existing uses. Mr Google wanted a more specific query, thinking that “book” and “structure” and “open” are too vague, so I searched for the combination of a particular binding style, “Carolingian” (which has the features of nice thick boards and an open spine structure that match my first ideas for implementing the inspiration) with “electronic”. Mr Google delivered 3 items! which reduced to just one item a few days later. This was exciting – but found I had been given a fake item, a honey trap, advertising an essay mill using a mashup of topics in computer science and architectural history. Interesting words, yes, an exciting combination when it has meaning associated with it (in the way I thought of it!) but this existing document was a total lie, not even a fiction. False content, meaningless machine-generated scribble. Here’s a sample:

The word popishesque (coined in 1818, 1819 or 1824 –there is no total agreement– as a bridging term amid papistic and Carolingian electronic calculating machine computer architecture that preceded papisticesque, and Gothic that followed it) embraces architecture, art, and sculpture.

[ accessed 2013-11-12]

Although this is a website that is clearly intended to encourage the violation of academic integrity principles (he says stiffly from his stance on Academic Integrity), I reckon that I should act with intellectual honesty myself and acknowledge the reference – and it’s an ingrained habit to do so. If I tried to explain this, I am in conflict whether it’s in acknowledgment of its inspiration to me, or to name and shame this wicked practice. (It’s actually a crap service anyway of no value to anyone who is sucked in – if I received an essay in this style, even if the word combinations were meaningful, I would think the author was totally unable to express themselves).

But the accidental combination does trigger further inspiration. Before steam punk there was Carolingian electronics! I’m thinking of a book cover in solid wood, 18mm thick, incorporating a 15mm thick Raspberry Pi processor module… and enhancing the book in colour, sound, responding to the ambient environment of other books on the shelf or in the display cabinet, the history of its opening and closing and readings. Glowing jewelled covers, circuitry in gold, the book that can read the reader…

Note: I can’t type Carolingian correctly and need to correct it every time. I apologise for any residual misspellings. Sic.