Droga5 and publisher Hachette Australia recently bestowed upon Qantas frequent fliers an anachronistic little gift that will come in handy aboard Qantas flights when approved electronic devices must be completely turned off.
The agency's Sydney office packaged together a 10-book box set of previously published paperbacks "specifically edited to last just as long as each of Qantas's key routes." It's a fun idea, and Droga is playing the nostalgia factor to the hilt. "In this world of Kindles and iPads, it seems that the last bastion of the humble paperback novel is actually at 40,000 feet," says David Nobay, creative chairman of Droga5 Sydney. "You only need to look at the bulging shelves at any airport bookstore. Maybe it's the fact that everything seems so far removed from the real world up there."
All 10 books are by Australian authors: James Castrission, Tony Cavanaugh, Sean Fewster, Kimberley Freeman, Lian Hearn, William McInnes, Peter FitzSimons, Jack Marx, Rob Mundle and Roland Perry. The collection spans adventure, crime, women's fiction, literary, history and romance. The books are meant to correspond to the lengths of 10 popular Qantas flights (Sydney to Dubai, Melbourne to London, Perth to Singapore, etc.), with meals and other breaks factored in. Designer Paul Belford created a unique cover for each book.
"One of the greatest challenges in publishing is to remind people of the pleasure that reading brings, and that even though the online world is growing, there is still a romance in the printed page," says Fiona Hazard, publishing director of Hachette Australia. "At Hachette, we are always looking for new ways to bring stories and voices to life, so when Droga5 approached us to discuss this idea we jumped straight in. It's been great fun working with them to get this project off the ground."