First there was the hardcover.
Then there was the paperback.

Now there is ...the flipback?

Originally launched in the Netherlands, UK publisher Hodder & Stoughton will soon be releasing the new format of ultra-lightweight books known as flipbacks.  The landscape oriented books are designed to be small and portable and easily held in one hand while reading.  The "reading revolution" is also being touted as "a full length novel in little more than the size of an iPhone" and "something that doesn't need recharging" which would imply that the new style is trying to appeal to those who value the jet setting advantages of eReaders but the tactile nature of paper books.  As of now there are no plans for flipbooks hitting shelves in the US, but I'm curious about what the blogging world thinks about them.  Do flipbooks appeal to you?  Would you snatch one up versus other versions of your latest TBR work?

7 Response to "Flipbacks"

  1. Iben says:
    June 27, 2011 at 2:24 AM

    o.O hmm... I find them more odd than interesting. Also, you'd think most books either wouldn't work in that format or would end up being a 10 cm thick flipback due to length..
    I can see what they're trying to do, but can only imagine it must be an annoying way to hold a book/turn pages/read.

  2. Ellen aka Ellie says:
    June 27, 2011 at 7:40 AM

    Yesterday I tried to water the flowers with a hose in one hand and a library book in another. It did not work. However, I didn't mind putting the book down. As my eyes get older I wonder about the font size of these books...

  3. Sarah says:
    June 27, 2011 at 8:16 AM

    I think the flipbacks are cute, and I would ALWAYS choose them over e-readers. I'm not sure if I would choose a flipback over a traditional paperback though. I guess it depends on the price, and if I could get used to holding a book like that.

  4. lisa :) says:
    June 27, 2011 at 10:51 AM

    noiashui - I've heard the paper they use for these is ultra thin so I don't know if thickness comes into play too much (unless of course they pick up GRRM's Song of Ice and Fire for publication...) I think the vertical page turning would take a lot of getting used to though.

    Ellen - I love the image of reading while watering flowers, bummer that it didn't work too well, but I'm guessing it was a good book if it prompted you to try! Last year I started a series of gardening mysteries by Heather Webber, and your comment got me thinking about theme reading: I could have a whole list of recommendations for books to read based on activities engaged in while reading them!

    Sarah - I think they're pretty cute too. I do love my eReader for its convenience of one-handed reading (a huge asset when packed onto a standing-room-only bus!) so had this format come out sooner - and in the US - I may have been persuaded to adore it. I'm not sure about pricing on them but I could see them becoming really popular sellers in airports and train stations.

  5. Unknown says:
    June 27, 2011 at 7:27 PM

    I would be very concerned about font size. I think it looks less appealing than an e-reader, personally. I'm a mix of both my kindle and good ol' books.

  6. Enbrethiliel says:
    June 28, 2011 at 1:41 PM


    I think they're very cute and wouldn't mind showing off a new "toy" like that the way some people I know show off their eReaders. ;-)

    But I agree with Noiashui that this format would only work for books of a certain length. So it might catch on for a while because of the novelty, but looking at long term . . . Seriously, do we really need to read with one hand? I can think of several times I didn't put a book down when I probably should have, even holding it against my body using my elbow while I washed my hands. (Silly me. I couldn't even read it at the moment!) I can see why flipbooks would be an attractive format to people who like to snack while they read, or stroke a pet, or take down notes--but is this a big enough market?

    And remember that students take the most notes while reading and assigned texts are usually too thick to handle with the touted ease.

  7. Bailey says:
    July 1, 2011 at 7:08 PM

    I'm a bit confused about the actual size of these flipbacks and how it would actually wind up being practical...? It's a new thought and could be cool, I guess, but I'm not sold yet. :)

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