Reading on the tube is a tricky business. Especially when standing, which is most mornings for me. We’ve all been there – attempting to adopt a nonchalant, casual reading pose, perhaps using the chap in front of you’s back as a discreet book stand, making sure to keep elbows tucked in enough so as not to irritate the neighbours but not too much as it’s crucial to maintain your invisible square of reading space… Geez. It’s alot to be dealing with at 8am.
As a result, the past few years has witnessed an influx of technology geeks fighting each other off to become king of the e-book, in an attempt to make the lives of travelling bookworms that little bit easier.
Publishers Hodder & Stoughton however are pioneering a return to the printed page for commuters with their Kindle-kicking invention, the Flipback book. Running out of battery just as your favourite protagonist is about to get hit by a bus (sob – oh Emma!) makes for one cross commuter, so apologies Mr Kindle, but I’m with these guys.
These dinky little things have already hit the big time over in Holland, with over 1 million copies having been sold since their unveiling in 2009, and this summer their clever creators decided to flip reverse them into Britain’s bookshops.
The collection encompasses 12 well-known titles, including Jeffery Deaver’s The Bone Collector, Jodie Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper and my absolute favourite, Stephen King’s Misery (if you are yet to witness Kathy Bates as a raging psychopath in the film version of this, stop depriving yourself now!)
The Flipback book means the end of the beefy novel bulking up your Chloe, and it also has a special spine which means it lies open like magic, saving you from having to awkwardly rearrange your fingers into some sort of spread-eagle claw as you attempt the one-handed Tube read.
The only downside to the delicate little flippers is that the paper is wafer thin (Bible style) – great for a slinky shape, not so great for rough-handed readers.
So, cherish your Flipback, be gentle and enjoy that one-handed read with ease.