Someone sent me a pair of reading socks the other day. I must confess that I had never known that there was a pair of socks designed specifically for reading. What would it do? Would it make me feel like reading more? Would it make me enjoy reading a book just that tiny bit more? I am just a sucker for experimenting with new ideas. So I decided to give the reading socks a spin.
My first reaction was that the pair seemed too large for me. Was that how it was meant to be or was that an error I would have to live with? The reading socks reached all the way up to my knee. The inner lining was soft and comfortable. I checked the temperature outside and it read fifteen degrees Celsius. This is as cold as it is going to get in Bangalore, I reasoned. Without further debate with myself I wore the pair and settled down to complete the book that I was half way through.
I found myself laughing louder than usual as I read through the book. Was this a placebo effect? Maybe the book was funny anyway and I would have laughed just as much even if I were bare foot. Would the reading sock eventually be a competitor for Amazon’s e-reader? Does the sock create the magic even for books being read on Kindle?
If you had to choose just one season when you enjoy reading a book, what would that be? For me, the best time of the year to read a book is in winter. Snuggling up under the quilt with a book and having your beverage of choice handy, is a great way to spend a cold winter night.
Amazon has reimagined the book. They have built it to address our need for instant gratification. Think of a book and it appears in your device within seconds. We can write notes, highlight and do much more as we read. Maybe someday they will let me doodle in the margins as well.
What more can be done with a book? Introducing social elements will certainly be the next step. Imagine reading Harry Potter and being able to instantly visit Diagon Alley or getting a text from Hagrid to check if you are worried about Harry’s safety. Leaving the book just long enough to experience what it is like to play Quidditch while riding a broom stick… and to be interrupted by a video call from Snape. Being able to interact with characters and experience the locations is certainly what I am waiting for. Ideo had crafted a video to describe the future of the book. Watch this…
Or maybe the next stage will be to co-create the story as you read. That could be what might turn more readers into authors. So technically speaking, every book that you read will be co-authored by you. Would you still want to see that book as an e-book or would the book you co-authored with Ruskin Bond be displayed on your bookshelf? Would reading socks help you become a better co-author? I wonder.