Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Digital Book Burning

download books and burn after reading
  (+6, -2)
(+6, -2)
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Burning books is flavour of the month, so why not extend it to the world of digital books? This means that book burning can be a very private affair or one that is simultaneously shared through synchronised social networking.

Here's how it works. You download and pay for your book as normal, but if you select the "Burn after reading" option, you get a discount on the sale, because this book is not going to last long.

After a set period of time (price controlled), your book begins to burn away. You have several options you can select to control this conflagration, ranging from instant vaporisation, through to a highly selective removal of one word or even letter at a time.

You could for example, elect to have all the punctuation smoulder away, emitting tiny trails of smoke across each page as you turn them. Or perhaps you don't like any words longer than four letters, so these all erupt into yellow flames and plumes of sooty ash. When you tilt your device, the smart flames and smoke change direction accordingly. You can choose to watch this sequentially one page at a time to savour the process, or simply select the "entire book option".

When the book has been reduced to ash you may store its remains in a little digital library coffin, along with an appropriate obituary.

xenzag, Sep 14 2010

XKCD http://xkcd.com/750/
[hippo, Sep 14 2010]

William Gibson's Agrippa http://www.antonrau...gibson/agrippa.html
Self-deleting works. [zen_tom, Sep 14 2010]


       This is brilliant!!!!!! Seriously, if you build it, they will come. I have a list of books I'd pay to burn.   

       But you also need to make sure that the "burning" is visible to all viewers.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 14 2010

       This could provide a whole new marketing scheme. You could sell burnable books for a fraction of a permanent book, with a price based on the days before immolation. So if the buyer didn't read it in time, they'd have to buy it again, yet if they didn't like it, they didn't spend that much. The reader gets a potentially cheaper book and the writer gets higher sales. Brilliant.
ldischler, Sep 14 2010

       William Gibson released a digital work that erased itself as you read it -I forget the details - will do a google.
zen_tom, Sep 14 2010

       Having an iPhone app which simulated the burning of the Bible or the Koran would certainly be simpler than the real thing. You could alternatively show your support for books by showing this process in reverse, and simulating their phoenix-like transformation from ashes to complete books.
hippo, Sep 14 2010

Voice, Sep 14 2010

       //this process in reverse//   

       YESSSS! This is how we fund the Halfbakery Foundation!!!! For book burners, we charge a fee to legitimately buy a digital copy, which is held in storage for a finite period (say, 1 month). Book savers can buy the book back out, at the same price, and receive the file as a legitimate buyer. If the book is not rescued, it gets deleted along with a graphical simulation.   

       Xenzag, you are a genius!!
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 14 2010

       What do the middle east protesters do if you burn a Koran with an American flag cover?   

       Just curious.   

       Actually, come to think of it I couldn't care less.
doctorremulac3, Sep 14 2010

       Actully that's not a bad idea - incorporate the entire Koran into the design of the US flag, printed as microtext somewhere in the middle. Then the people who burn US flags will have a bit of a dilemma.
hippo, Sep 14 2010

       See, that's the reason this is the only social site on the web worth posting on. Where else you gonna see a U.S. flag / Koran microtext mind messer-upper?   

       Dare anybody to play a practical joke on some Middle East protesters and hide a Koran in an American flag. Then when they burn it, pop out and say "Surprise! You've been punked! You just burned a Koran!"   

       I'm sure they'd think it was really clever and funny and we'd all laugh and be friends after that.
doctorremulac3, Sep 14 2010

       Are you not on MaxCo.'s mailing list?
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 14 2010

       By the way Max, jealous of your hinge idea. I've installed a few hinges and it's a miserable, mistake prone process.   

       Damned brilliant that.
doctorremulac3, Sep 14 2010

       Aw, thanks [doc].   

       If anyone out there wants to produce these and make me...I mean us...rich, go for it.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 14 2010

       //hide a Koran in an American flag//   

       Or put the American flag on the back of the dollar bill as a ubiquitous symbol for burning. So every flag-dollar burned is an IOU we don't have to honor.
ldischler, Sep 14 2010


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