Special Edition Of Fahrenheit 451 Can Only Be Read By Applying Heat To Its Pages


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Photo Credit: Charles Nypels Laboratory via Instagram

French graphic design firm Super Terrain, has come up with an ingenious way to capture the essence of Ray Bradbury’s best-selling novel, Fahrenheit 451. The company’s recently released special edition copy can only be read by applying heat to the blackened pages.

The prototype, unveiled in October 2017, was designed to showcase a unique, charcoal-based heat-activated ink which becomes visible when warm, and fades away once the pages cool down. The technology is the brainchild of researchers at the Netherlands-based Jan van Eyck Academie, which is well-known for its experiments in materials and media.

Photo Credit: Charles Nypels Laboratory via Instagram

For those unfamiliar with the dystopian book, Fahrenheit 451 tells the story of a future America in which reading is banned, and books outlawed, to suppress dissenting ideas. Firefighters, assigned to eradicate any books found, are instructed to set them on fire at night, for maximum effect. The title is a reference to the approximate temperature at which books burn.

This is not the first time designers have come up with unique editions of the novel. In 1953, the year Fahrenheit 451 was first released, its publisher, Ballantine Books, created two hundred copies bound in fire-resistant asbestos. The limited edition books are still highly coveted by collectors and sell for as much as $20,000 each.

Elizabeth Perez’s design (Photo Credit: eliperez.com)

In 2013, Elizabeth Perez screen-printed the book’s spine with match-striking paper, signaling it could be burned, if desired. The graphic artist says her Fahrenheit 451 book design became “insanely popular” within a short time, and she was inundated with requests from fans seeking a copy. Unfortunately, Perez only created the one concept copy. However, fans of Super Terrain’s heat-activated book might have better luck, given that the creators have promised to make more and release them for sale in 2018 – So stay tuned!

Resources: Gizmondo.com,Interestingengineering.com,eliperez.com,instagram.com

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  • sky_dragon
    sky_dragonMonday, February 15, 2021 at 7:06 am
    That's amazing!
    • i_do_not_exist
      i_do_not_existTuesday, April 7, 2020 at 1:54 pm
      Also, for everybody saying ¨What´s the point of using this edition?¨, it´s mainly for collector´s purposes, or just fun.
      • i_do_not_exist
        i_do_not_existTuesday, April 7, 2020 at 1:52 pm
        For everybody saying ¨Why would you burn the book?!¨, you don´t put the match on the page, you just hover the match over the page, and the pages are probably covered in a fire-resistant substance.
        • ???Tuesday, November 5, 2019 at 6:07 am
          just throw it in a fire then pages are clear.
          • depressionTuesday, February 19, 2019 at 10:19 am
            the book is immune to fire and a mach is not going to burn your house down Fahrenheit 451 is a very traumatizing book yay
            • henhen
              henhenFriday, December 14, 2018 at 5:45 pm
              That book would probably kill you because you're using fir. imagine a book thrown into a fire and it survives the fire. all the pages probably you would be able to see then
              • hiMonday, December 10, 2018 at 2:54 pm
                cool but it cold light the pages on fire
                • dimondera
                  dimonderaSunday, November 25, 2018 at 5:16 pm
                  I would love😆 to get that book, but why,why, why are u burnin ' the book?!
                  • koolaidz
                    koolaidzFriday, March 29, 2019 at 12:09 pm
                    cause its science
                  • Hydroxyzine yTuesday, November 13, 2018 at 2:53 pm
                    • drewdrizzMonday, November 12, 2018 at 11:32 am
                      this makes absolutely no sense because if you hold heat against the page too long it will burn.😂
                      • dimondera
                        dimonderaSunday, November 25, 2018 at 5:13 pm