Lannoo tells us about MARKED

On Wednesday 10 May 2017, Lannoo Publishers hosted an event in Antwerp to launch MARKED, the website, and @booksbymarked on Instagram and Facebook. Likeminded people with different professional backgrounds gathered to talk about creating a worldwide community for those who are passionate about beauty. Designers, photographers, chefs and artists all have one thing in common: they want to create, express their vision and display their works of art. MARKED seeks to unite an urban audience, nomadic and eclectic, who are looking for inspiration for their lifestyle.

Social media has opened the world. Nowadays, everyone can share everything. We can talk about any given subject with people we may never have met, and develop a strong connection with them. New content is produced on a mass scale. We find our way through the vast amount of daily information by selecting the themes that interest us via hashtags and topics. We can discover the world from behind our tablet or smartphone.

And then there are books.

Books are the antisocial media of today. How do you read a book? You find a quiet corner, drink a cup of coffee (or gin & tonic, according to your mood and time of the day). Maybe you put on some music. You disconnect yourself completely, diving into the book in a delightfully selfish way. The smell of the paper sets your mood, and the words reach your mind at your own pace. Even when reading a bestseller, you read it alone. Books and stories are the earliest form of virtual reality. The storyteller creates a universe that exists only in the minds of the reader or listener, which is unique for everyone as we have the freedom to interpret it any way we want to.

But once we have experienced emotions through the book – amazement, surprise, shock or delight – we want to share these emotions with the world. We want our friends to enjoy the book with us, or we want to reach out to the people who have experienced it in a similar way. Our solitary pastime is the fuel for social interaction. A platform such as MARKED offers an environment for readers and book aficionados to introduce themselves, as well as opportunities to meet each other, or the author or artist behind their favorite book.

Some say the internet will kill the printed book. To the contrary, a book will always be the source of new media. So sit back, relax, enjoy your paper voyage and let yourself be drawn towards whatever destination it leads you.