I Like the Idea of Dwarsliggers

The author John Green looks to be one of the first major, contemporary authors whose novels will be printed in a miniature flipbook format called a “dwarsligger.” According to this New York Times article, the format originated in The Netherlands 8 or 9 years ago and has been successful whenever it’s been deployed.

Dwarsligger format book
A Bible in the dwarsligger format.

I’ve yet to hold one of these but I really love this idea. Reading with one hand is…ahem…handy. It would make it easier to read while I eat, read while I walk, or just be more comfortable reading in bed or on the couch. I also like the idea of giving this a go with an author who has proven to have a strong following of readers who would be open to new ideas, namely young people.

I don’t know how the manufacturing cost compares to mass market paperbacks. If it’s reasonably close, I think that genre novels would be a great fit. Give someone like Chip Kidd free reign to design covers and layouts for this format and an author like N.K. Jemisin or Yoon Ha Lee and I think you could have a crossover blockbuster on your hands.

When I first saw one of these, I immediately thought of Mark Z. Danielewski who has long used unique layout and structure to add much to his novels. I suspect he could take this format and make it work not just for convenience but as an integral part of the story he is telling.

Author: Alex Ezell

A person who runs, reads, and writes. They pay me to build software but I'd rather be doing any of those other three things.

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