The joy of digital

Sing it: “We are living in a digital world and I am a digital girl!”

Alright I know you didn’t sing it, but you get my point.

I love digital; my day job basically consists of me trying to create the best websites I can while sneakily checking Twitter and pretending it’s for work; and I go home in the evenings to watch time-shifted telly, spend more time on Twitter and buy books online.

And the books I buy are always honest-to-goodness paper ones.

I’ve had the ebook vs paper book conversation more times than I can count (alright then, about six times) and I am a staunch believer that paper books are far, far better than their pixel brethren – I’ll blog about why later.

However, I do think there is a wonderful marriage to be had between lovely papery books and magical interactive digital. And there’s a Twitter account at the moment which, to my mind, is absolutely nailing how this should be done.

Cover of Slade House by David Mitchell

Another beautiful cover

David Mitchell’s new novel Slade House is due out in October and as a precursor to the release of the book he’s tweeting an account for one of his characters.

@I_Bombadil is the Twitter account for a man obessessed with his co-worker, Lottie. They work at the same company in London and, as she doesn’t have a clue who he is, he’s taken a 21st Century approach to the love letter and is tweeting his love for her.

Over the course of the daily tweets he shares the ‘loving’ things he’s doing such as noticing her outfits, sending her roses on her birthday, hacking her emails and her phone, checking her sister’s smear test results…

Lottie also has a Twitter account, which is currently locked at @TuttiLottie


Slade House actually started life as a Twitter short story so it’s the obvious marketing approach. And the events of the novel culminate on 31 October 2015, so presumably the Twitter narrative and the novel will weave together at that point.

Tweets from @I_Bombadil

I love this approach. And I think that the possibilities for mixing paper and digital are absolutely dizzying.

I’ll never give up my paper books; I don’t think digital can replace them and I don’t think it should try. What it can do brilliantly well is augment and embellish a book in clever, fun and original ways – opening up texts to readers who may not otherwise find them – especially useful for those books with teeny tiny marketing budgets (i.e. most of them).

I know some of you are ebook enthusiasts and/or digital citizens – what do you think? Do you want Spotify playlists with your books? Online ‘DVD extras’ style content?


Meanwhile keep an eye on @I_Bombadil – because, let’s face it, that’s really not going to end well. And who wouldn’t want to read about that?

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