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Are 'flip books' the new trend?

Holly Viers • Jul 25, 2018 at 11:15 AM

A few days ago, I was searching for a new book to read when I came across something called a “flip book.”

And no, I don’t mean the picture books that make still images appear animated when you flip the pages. What I saw the other day was an actual novel, but with two separate stories, one of which was “flipped” upside down.

I know, it sounds a little confusing. To give you a little more background, the book I’m referencing is called “Replica” and is written by bestselling author Lauren Oliver. I’ve read Oliver’s work in the past, which is what led me to “Replica” in the first place.

Upon further research, I discovered that there are apparently three different ways to read “Replica.” According to the publisher, HarperCollins, readers can “turn the book one way and read Lyra's story (or) turn the book over and upside down and read Gemma’s story. The stories can be read separately, one after the other, or in alternating chapters.”

At this point, I was pretty skeptical about reading this novel. Quite frankly, it sounded like too much of a hassle. Even so, my love for Oliver’s work overpowered the reservations I had, so I grabbed a copy of the book and headed to the checkout line.

Since then, I’ve had more than a few opportunities to start reading the book, but I still haven’t done so. Not only am I having trouble deciding which way to read the book, but I’m wondering why the author chose to write the book this way to begin with.

I’d love to ask the author, “Does this format really add to the story?” To me, it seems like an unnecessary distraction that would draw you away from the story, not into it.

Maybe I’m just “out of the loop,” but I’ve never come across a novel like this before. “Replica” was just released a couple of years ago, which makes me wonder, “Are flip books the new trend?”

If you were to ask me that question right now, I would probably say, “I hope not.” I favor the traditional way of reading books, from start to finish, without having to flip the book upside down and around multiple times.

Maybe my opinion will change once I finally read the book. I’m attempting to go into the experience with an open mind, but I’m afraid my preconceived notions have already swayed my opinion.

What about you? Have you ever read a “flip book” or seen one on the shelves? Email me your thoughts at hviers@timesnews.net.

Holly Viers is a general assignment reporter for the Kingsport Times News.

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