This Digital Bookmark Tweets at You When You Haven’t Read in a While

Rob Walker
Tech Columnist
August 7, 2014
Tweet For a Read bookmark
Tweet For a Read bookmark

From the Tweet For a Read promo video.

Let’s say you just don’t read books as much as you used to. Let’s say you feel guilty about it. And let’s say you blame technology.

Well, maybe what you need is, in fact, a whiz-bang high-tech bookmark that hassles you about your slothful reading habits!

Behold: Here is the humble bookmark reimagined as a hectoring gadget, equipped with a light sensor that tracks how long the thing has been smothered within an unopened volume — and programmed to bug you, on Twitter no less, to get your nose back in the book.

According to Branding Magazine, Tweet For a Read was created by Penguin Companhia das Letras (evidently a Brazilian iteration of Penguin publishing classics in Portuguese) and agency Mood/TBWA Brazil.

PENGUIN BOOKS | Case Tweet For a Read from Rafael Gonzaga on Vimeo.

A promotional video for the project explains that this super-bookmark relies on a built-in “nanocomputer” that determines “precisely the last time the book was opened.” The tweets nagging you to keep reading are rigged to come from the author of whatever text you’ve neglected. And they’re written in the author’s “real phrases” or “style.” (Curiously, the primary example in the video involves José Saramago, who died in 2010.) 

Tweets from Tweet For a Read
Tweets from Tweet For a Read

Dead writers bugging you on Twitter, from the Tweet For a Read promo video.

As a practical method of reading encouragement, the idea is obviously a little over the top. But as a concept, it’s a useful reminder and provocation. I bet you’ve got a half-read book with a plain old paper bookmark in it somewhere around your house right now. When you get home tonight, crack the thing open and get back into it. It might be even better than Twitter!

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