Alex Christofi's life hack is taking "hack" a little too far.
The author and editor revealed on Twitter that he is considered a "book murderer" by his colleagues because he slices long books in half to maximize portability.
Yes, you read that correctly.
Yesterday my colleague called me a 'book murderer' because I cut long books in half to make them more portable. Does anyone else do this? Is it just me? pic.twitter.com/VQUUdJMpwT— Alex Christofi (@alex_christofi) January 21, 2020
Christofi attempted to explain that the unconventional habit makes it easier for him to carry books around with him. Some people agreed with him. Others... did not.
This seemed like a bad idea until I looked at my bedside table where the Book of Dust has been sitting unread for 2 months because it’s too big to take to work and I don’t want to have to read a different book on the train. https://t.co/LBwP7SpRRd— Calla Wahlquist (@callapilla) January 21, 2020
There are so many questions. What happens if you finish your half and can't continue because the other half is at home? Wouldn't the pages separate from the binding and scatter everywhere? And, perhaps most importantly, how could Christofi read Infinite Jest without referencing the copious index in the back of the book? Well, he has an answer to that, too.
Glad you asked. I realised my error after I'd cut the book in half so I doubled down and made a separate booklet (not pictured) bound in a diagram of all the characters' relationships.— Alex Christofi (@alex_christofi) January 21, 2020
My head says you can do what you like with your stuff.— DVdR (@DVDReeck) January 21, 2020
My emotional response to this: pic.twitter.com/OblkUFXbLR
There's no telling how much time or space this process actually manages to save. Christofi finds the practice of cutting books in half both rational and convenient, and he's free to do as he wishes. In the end, they are just books, after all.
But at what cost?