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We’re Getting On: The Book That Grows Trees

Life without Twitter, luddite literature, and why judging a book by its cover may at last be okay.

In the 1960’s, the brilliant Marshall McLuhan coined the catchphrase “the medium is the message.” Today, a new book is embodying McLuhan’s ethos like no other book ever has. James Kaelan’s We’re Getting On — a compelling novella about how retreating from technology can spring rejuvenation through a kind of post-modern deprivation — is the world’s first plantable book. To truly capture the message of regeneration, the book’s cover is made out of birch seed paper, which you can actually plant once done reading and watch a birch tree grow.

To really drive the point home — or bike it home, as it were — Kaelan is embarking on a Zero Emission Book Tour, forsaking all technology. Armed with a bicycle and a smile, he will be biking from city to city, sleeping outdoors, and bartering food from local farmers for a total of 10 cities, 3400 miles, and zero emissions — this means no driving, no cooking, no tweeting, no hot showers.

Flavorpill has an excellent interview with Kaelan, in which he delves deeper into the inspiration for the project and the challenges it holds.

This is by no means a book that is going to appeal to everyone, but that’s totally cool. The only thing I don’t want from from the book is for people to be ambivalent about it. Ambivalence is, as you know, the death of art.” ~ James Kaelan

We’re Getting On hit bookstores yesterday and the tour kicks off today. And, no, you can’t follow it on the book’s official Twitter page — that would require Kaelan to actually tweet.

Published July 2, 2010




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