Not Sure What To Read? Call Ishmael

The next time you’re stuck trying to find the perfect next book to read, you might do well to follow the instructions in Moby Dick’s opening line and call Ishmael. The Call Me Ishmael Phone is the latest Kickstarter from the team behind the award-winning Call Me Ishmael project, a voicemail service on which book-lovers can tell personal stories about their favorite books, and the best stories are transcribed and posted online. Now they’re taking it one step further.

The Call Me Ishmael Phone, which will sit in bookshops and libraries, looks just like a vintage rotary phone — but when you dial a button, you can listen in to someone’s bookish anecdote. It’s a wonderful new way of engaging with the books you’re browsing; one person’s personal experience of how a book changed their life can tell you a million times more than any review you might read on the back.

Curators at the bookstore or library will be able to choose which stories about which books are contained in the phone, and change them daily—so each phone will have a distinctly personal touch. And they’ll even be able to make the phone ring via a web application—so an unsuspecting browser might be treated to a random story sent just for them.

The bibliocentric phone was announced under 24 hours ago, but the Kickstarter page is already less than $400 dollars away from its goal. So these adorable phones could soon be a super-romantic reality in your local bookstore! (Is anyone else excitedly singing “Call Me Ishmael” to the tune of a certain Carly-Rae Jepsen song? No? Well, I bet you are now.)

Image: Pavan Trikutam/Unsplash