Qantas: Forget the Kindle, read a book we just wrote for you

The Australian airline has created what it believes are books of the perfect length and style for your flight. But how does it know how fast you read?

Sophisticated. But mere decoration? Qantas

The past is a cockroach.

It never truly goes away. It simply makes more copies of itself, each a little different from the last.

How quaint, though, of Qantas to think that its fliers should read a book.

No, not a book on some fancy machine. A paper book, with a cover and a booky smell, given to you if you're one of its fancy passengers.

These are, allegedly, no ordinary books. As Ad Age reports, Qantas claims they are "bespoke." Yes, like a hunting jacket.

The company has teamed with publishing house Hachette to offer high-fliers something of quality and class.

Yes, of course most fliers read James Patterson, Dan Brown, and Richard North Patterson, so in many of these beautiful books, people will still be shot at, taken to court, and die.

Still, each book is complete with something everyone would wish for: a personal note form the Qantas CEO. Did I mention that they are very beautifully designed?

But the greatest claim to joy here is that the books will allegedly be of perfect length for a particular flight.

David Nobay, the ad agency creative behind this idea insisted: "According to our literary friends at Hachette, the average reader consumes between 200 and 300 words per minute, which equates to about a page per minute."

Would this be sober or tipsy?

Well, indeed, the ad agency types have thought about this. They claim that, for the longer flights, they have accounted for the need to eat, drink, and snore.

Nobay explained: "After a few hours with a fine Qantas in-flight meal with Australian Shiraz, most people need a break from reading."

Some people will imagine that this is an ad agency merely trying to win awards with its legendary sense of beauty and elegance. Who is actually going to read these books?

After all, you only have to look on most flights to see all the bouffant corporate wigs race to open their iPads and laptops the minute the pilot turns off the "fasten seat-belts" sign. Few are those who are seen with a paper-based tome. (Actually I'm one of those who is. I never open a laptop on a plane. The last gasp of the insane, perhaps.)

Qantas believes that its books -- collectively titled "Stories For Every Journey" -- reflect the sophisticated nature of its brand.

I wonder how often they will be read and how many people will ever get to the end.

Then again, planes are often late, so perhaps there is some hope.

 

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