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Friday, February 19, 2010

TankBooks packaging "takes your breath away"

UK based TankBooks released something a few years ago that I think is absolutely brilliant: books in cigarette cartons. The cartons are regular size and sealed in cellophane, with silver foil wrapping, just like the real deal. The release came right after the UK-wide smoking ban and met some controversy, which I'm sure just came from people who don't appreciate great design.

And let's face it, this is just as beautiful as it is smart. I love that the carton for Hemingway's "The Shows of Kilimanjaro" and "The Undefeated" mimics the Lucky Strike packaging. I'm also pleased with the design for Kafka's "The Metamorphosis" and "In the Penal Colony", but I also seem to favor bright shades of blue.

The tin that carries them all makes you believe you need the whole set. In fact, if they weren't so expensive ($73, including shipping) I would have a set on my bedside table already.

But the best part of this Tank release is their size. According to the TankBooks Web site, although these works are miniature in size, they still contain the complete and unabridged stories. I can picture throwing one in my bag to carry around campus and (not) read during class.

Tank really hit a home run with this one. Creative packaging and a compact format are a great way to preserve print and keep the traditional book format competitive with newer technologies like travel-size e-readers

I only wish more titles were available. Currently, Tank offers:
For now, TankBooks' "Tales to Take Your Breath Away" will stay in my Web bookmarks and appear on my Christmas List come Dec. 1.


Marisha Pie said...

This will be great to use when I'm a chain-smoking, downtrodden aspiring author; I can place them next to my cigarette cartons to remind me of my dashed dreams and continual failure to succeed via the success of the authors in the set!

(No, but really, I think those are really cool. I oddly want them as well.)

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