eBooks, bunnies and birthdays…

I can’t believe I’m going to be in the ‘above 30’ age category as of tomorrow. It’s actually making me quite angry. Why does time have to pass so blimmin quickly when you get older? WHY? Why can’t it just slow down a bit… why can’t we just apply online and enter into a special club, with our own rules and guidelines for timezones, schedules and seasons? It’s only fair! I’d pay for that, if I had the dosh. We’ve worked hard by the time we reach this age, we deserve a little gift from the universe.

Anyway, to make myself feel better about my impending birthday (this time last year I was in Marrakech with a load of my most awesome friends!!) I’ve been playing a lot with my favourite application on my iPad, which is the pop out tale of Peter Rabbit. I used to LOVE Beatrix Potter when I was kid and I do actually still believe hedgehogs can talk – they just don’t tend to do it a lot – so this funky new book which reads to me in a very posh, very British female voice makes me feel young again. I love this eBook for loads more reasons though! For a start it plays Debussy as the pages turn, which as we all know, Edward Cullen plays to Bella in Twilight. And yes, that is important so don’t scoff. And wait, every single picture has some sort of interactive element! You can pop things up, turn wheels round, make birds tweet and OMG… like, totally awesomely TRULY…bunnies giggle. Oh yes they do.

When I was a kid I had to use my imagination for things like this, but now, children don’t even have to bother their little brains with all that. Fancy. They can read this without the risk of a paper cut, as all they have to do is slide their slobbery fingers over the glass. That said, there’s not as much wrist action as there is with a real book either, so there’s also no risk of carpel tunnel, which is an added fibro-osseous-free bonus that they really should have used as a selling point (don’t worry, I’ll email the developers and tell them). Ooooh, also, kids can stop on each word and have it pronounced properly by the automated Brit-bot so they don’t even have to get their busy parents involved in the learning process. More time for mum and dad to crack on with those bottles of Bud and a few episodes of House! They really have thought of everything.

My fave thing of all about this bunnylicious eBook is the blackberries, which fall from the top of one of the pages. You can drag them about the screen and squish them all over the place. GENIUS. Hours of fun. In fact, the only thing you can’t do with this version is read it in the bath.

I was told last week that Burqalicious – The Dubai Diaries will be an eBook too when it’s released, but I’m not sure it’ll be a pop up one. This is a shame innit, but you can’t have everything. I was trying to think of some of the interactive elements I’d include if it were to be a pop up… it’s always nice to dream. I thought perhaps a few burqas could be lifted at random intervals to reveal some racy underwear underneath, but then I realised that would probably get it banned in nine countries… which mightn’t actually be a bad thing for publicity, but look at the trouble Jeremy Clarkson got into. Hmmmm.

We could also make a sheikh ride in from stage left on a white lion, and in the parts about drunken brunches we could let readers chuck chocolate cake at an innocent bystander. When it comes to mentions of the awesome karaoke bar we called our second home, I’m sure I could extract some audio from one of a few atrocious recordings we thought would be a fantastic idea to capture at the time, in Harry Ghatto’s. Imagine reading about and HEARING ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ (the Will Ferrell Fucking version) in the key of shitfaced as you turn the pages in a quiet room. MAN! So much potential. In my head.

Maybe it’s the future though. No one will hold books anymore. Trees will grow back in their squillions as we’ll have no use for paper. “PAPER? What’s that?”, cry the children of tomorrow. “Oh just something humans used to use before we ziplocked everything into eternal existence, in the cybersphere”. “But, if I can’t see it or touch it, how do I know it’s real, mummy?” asks the innocent boy child. “Oh shut up. You can flip it on your iPad can’t you? Anyway, don’t bother me, I’m watching House.”

Aaah the future. At least by getting older we’re one step closer to more cool stuff, I suppose. Oh and even if it’s not your birthday tomorrow, you should still treat yourself to Peter Rabbit. There’s a blackberry that’s waiting to be squished, with your name on it.

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