July 2012 | Nate Pedersen

Disappearing Ink

blankpages.jpgImagine a library of books with empty pages. They formerly contained text, but over time the ink gradually faded until it disappeared altogether, leaving behind white pages like empty shells.  A library of ghosts.

While the above may have served as a setting for a Borges story, an independent publisher in Borges's native Argentina has actually started publishing books printed with disappearing ink.  The clever marketing trick (which has already garnered them a fair bit of press States-side) is being employed by Eterna Cadencia as a launching platform for new authors.  Their reasoning is such: if you don't read an author's first book, the author won't make it to a second.  So the point is to encourage - or force - the buyer to read the author's book within two months.  After that the ink - and therefore the text - disappear from the pages.

If any of these new authors become collectable in future years, their books will make interesting additions to collections. How much do you charge for an empty codex that formerly housed a text?  It's all rather pleasingly surreal.

Here is the promotional video from Eterna Cadencia about their disappearing ink publications: