Farewell of a book

When I reach the end of a book, I begin to plan when I will read the last pages. Sometimes I cannot say farewell to a story and the characters, so I delay the moment of ending my beloved book.  Because I know, when I end the book, the relationship between me and my book is over.  Then the book will swarm around in my thoughts and before I know it I am already up in another world in the next book. 

In the Dutch television show ‘Benalie boekt’ the Dutch writer Tommy Wieringa speaks of recreating life on paper.  And the life that rises from the paper. The interview is located at a chapel and he speaks to God and says he himself is more powerful. This is a real strength; the ability to conceive lives that only exist on paper and are lived by the author’s imagination. This image also made me think of the film ‘Ober’ by Alex van Warmerdam, in which the characters are rebellious to the author during the writing of the script. 

The creator of the stories raise semi-lives which are connected to me. With each book I finish, I say goodbye to people who are not there. Not only the characters but also the environment and timeframe. One consolationI have locked all these elements into my bookcase and I can wake them up whenever I want. These are the magical powers of the reader that I possess.

when stories come alive

‘The assault’ was waiting for me in my bookcase. I tried to read the book when I was around the age of fourteen, but it simply could not reach me. I had put away the book and it wasn’t since last week that I took it into my hands again. Now the book took me to my imagination in the short period of two evenings.  The short but beautiful trip through the book made me realize that I, for this book, was not a suitable reader when I was fourteen. Ten years later my internal reading voice was ready to speak up. 

Centuries ago it was normal for authors to read out their own books to an test audience.  Meetings ranged from several hours to several days. The listeners were expected to use their critical opinion on the story. Based on this criticism the writer improved his text. The read out was drenched by the interpretation of the author. Not the tone of the reader, but the tone of the author brought the book to life.

Nowadays the book is drenched by the interpretation of the reader and together with the author’s text, they form a living story. If the internal voice and imagination is ready to handle the content, the commitment to the book can get as strong as can be. I tried to read ‘The assault’ to early and the book waited for me to be ready.

Last-minute call for thought-provoking books

We’re launching *openmargin, the community in the margin of your book, on the famous The Next Web conference in Amsterdam. We’ll present our iPad app on-stage during the finals of the startup-rally, on April 28th. 

For the launch we’re working together with authors and publishers who are ahead of the curve. By adding an *openmargin to their ebooks they turn readers into contributors and promotors. 

Are you an author who embraces technology to connect to your readers? Do you want to be a pioneer within this movement? Contact me and we’ll do our best to get you on the platform on time.

Side note: the book has to be thought-provoking. 
Side note 2: the book has to be free. We believe in karma.

we welcome a new generation of authors

We see a new generation of authors is on the rise. They connect with their readers through blogs, twitter and self-publishing platforms. 

If you’re one of these authors, consider adding an *openmargin to your work. *openmargin is an open space within a digital book where readers share their thoughts. The original book stays as it is, but the margin turns into a place for dialogue. *openmargin unites your book and your community. 

This means:

Growth. By adding notes, readers continiously add value to the original book. Books will stay fresh overtime and older books can liven up. 

Connection. As an author, you’re the host of the *openmargin. From this position you’re able to connect directly with your most loyal and active followers. 

Spreading. The webplatform enables readers to share their notes. They will weave your book into the fabrics of the social web. Your fans are your best promotors. 

If you are an interested author or publisher, contact me.

Books are our master

The books on top of my bookcase are the ones I still have to read. Some books are ready to be taken on vacation, others are asking to be read before bedtime. ‘Animal stories for every party’ invites me to read a couple of short stories, after this I fall asleep with fantastic inspirations. ‘Made to stick’ asks me to get a chair and to take place at my desk. Its cover, chapters and letters seduce me to grab a pen and paper. Every single book has its own character with unique manners.

Every book demands a different posture of its reader. The image of a student with a book in a train was passing in my thoughts; the drop down table on the chair before him is pulled down and a pen and paper lay on the side. Frequently I see the hand of the student supporting his forehead, the elbow resting on the shelf while the spine is bend. Obviously this is a book that asks for a study position.

When the tablet was making its entry in our homes, it was the form of the object that made ​​me move around it. My hands are too small to hold the tablet in one hand. It asks me to sit down on the couch and clamp it between one hand and my leg and is then ready to control. Not the content but the form forces me to take this position. Compare this with a very thick book that is simply not appropriate to be read in bed. I am very pleased when the biggest mass is resting on the bed and you can read one whole page in peace. Only then comes the next page and all of the mass have to lie on its side. It’s a delight when I may turn to the next page again. ‘The half brother’ forced me to sit upright in bed while reading my book.

The paper and also the screen are asking us to take place and devour the content. The book in both form and content moves our thoughts, but also desires physical adjustments. I am wondering which books you can read while standing upright? Which content requires a standing position?


With this tool by Google Labs you can make graphs from their book-data. Cool stuff to experiment with.  
I mapped digital books and iPad. According to the medium itself, digital books are here to stay. And the 4th uprising of the iPad is stable since the 70s. Good news! 

With this tool by Google Labs you can make graphs from their book-data. Cool stuff to experiment with.  

I mapped digital books and iPad. According to the medium itself, digital books are here to stay. And the 4th uprising of the iPad is stable since the 70s. Good news! 

Linotype: the film. About an out-dated, but beautiful, typecasting machine. 

*openmargin presentation

Here’s the presentation we gave at the State of Social Media Summit in Amsterdam, on October 29th. It was an intimate setting, so we could discuss our main questions with the public. Like, how do we grow a mindful community on our openmargin platform? 

Enjoy the presentation!

Presentation *openmargin

Tags: presentation

Looking for the good stuff?

If you came here by reference of James Bridle’s talk or article on Open Bookmarks you might be wondering where to learn more about the *openmargin platform and how to join the beta.

For more information we recommend to read through this page and if that sounds interesting sign up for the beta-list.

If you want to speak to us personally you can email Joep, one of the co-founders, at joep AT openmargin DOT com