A “pliego” is a simple sheet of paper that once folded turns into a microbook (a real pocket-size one, indeed). It only needs a printer, a little do-it-yourself and an average 10 minutes for reading it.
In other words
Like a Twitter for books
What can be said on just both sides of a sheet? Imagine the smallest book possible, one that you can create writing only for a while, then upload and download straight to your printer. Where the focus is not quantity but quality, and reachable for anyone.
Fighting eBooks since 1500
The name “pliego” (folded in Spanish, also known as octavo in English, or cordel literature from Portuguese) comes from an antique format that was very popular in the XV century. Sheets of paper hanged form ropes and bought on the streets, containing short stories, poems and other pieces of popular literature. So yes, we’re talking here about a really new-old thing :)
The read-it-later definitive app
Reading online or digital is fine, but some words may deserve a time and place away from the computer screen. Why not saving or distributing nice posts this way, for example, so you can read them later in a quiet caffee or in the bus? Yes, there are gadgets for that too, but you can’t leave them somewhere after reading (as an unexpected gift for the next peasant :¬)
Micro-content is king
Like it or not, small is the new big. We have less time for long texts, microblogging is here to stay and we always do things in small time-blocks anyway. So consider each pliego like a minimum knowledge unit, somehow. It can be a fiction short story but also the first chapter of a bigger adventure. Or part of a course, a module of something wider to be learnt.
For teaching and learning purposes, pliegos could be a great companion of open and online courses. What about a daily or weekly diet of this kinds of short texts? Or a cooperative written one about a certain subject, that can be reused then by others? The modular possibilities of this sort of books can be infinite.
Pliegos can be collected like stamps or stickers, but once read we strongly emphasize to leave them in the public space. Like an anonymous gift for a stranger reader. Specially if they contain text extracted form the Internet: turning this way the digital into physical, like a paper bridge between both worlds.