Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Don't disappoint your books

This is a beautiful little short film (2 minutes, so actually short) called The Diary of a Disappointed Book.  It was put together by studiocanoe and tells the story of a book given, forgotten, read and forgotten.

Rather than risk spoilers (because you should watch it – really), I will leave my thoughts to after the jump.

The Diary of a Disappointed Book from Studiocanoe on Vimeo.

Can you believe that ending? I thought for sure he was going to discover and cherish that little orange book. But I suppose the book isn't disappointed for nothing.

The really sad thing, though, is that even as a lover of books, I can totally understand how this happens. As a kid, I lost my copy of Squirrel Nutkin  by Beatrix Potter and I loved that book. We looked everywhere for it and it took years to find a replacement copy. I haven't really lost any books lately, I suppose (besides that 'who did I lend X to again?' sort of lost), but it happens. Worse, maybe, is that I'm guilty of disappointing my books. I have books in piles (and on shelves, and in boxes, and in bags) that I bought with the full intention of reading next and they still sit (or lie, or stand) without being read. And using books as coasters? Yep, I'm guilty of that too (although less so).

But, although this little book makes me feel sad and guilty (Ikea was so right about our emotional transferal to inanimate objects) about my own ways, what is does more than that is make me think harder about giving books as presents. Clearly that girl just didn't appreciate the book – whether it wasn't her taste or she just isn't a reader is unclear – but nonetheless, I don't want to create a disappointed book, which means I'll have to be much more aware of my gift-book choices in the future.

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