The April Fool’s Day gags flew fast and furious yesterday: Bowery Boogie claimed that the Lower East Side had become a UNESCO World Heritage site, Brooklyn Vegan claimed that a reunited Pavement would be opening for the Smashing Pumpkins, and– in what was perhaps the cruelest lie of all– Ridgewood Social claimed that the Ridgewood/Bushwick border was getting its own pool. But none of these jokes were quite as good as an email sent from Strand Book Store. The subject line: “Introducing the Strindle: A New Era of Strand.”
As I clicked over to the elaborate ad on Strand’s webpage, the idea of “Strand’s first e-reader” seemed plausible, given that the beloved bookstore plasters its name across everything from coffee mugs to baby onesies. If the Barnes & Noble in Union Square can have a gigantic nook for its Nook reader, why not the cool, indie equivalent? (It also came to light yesterday that notorious holdout Drag City is finally streaming its albums on Spotify.) Heck, I half believed the part about the rear screen displaying the name of your book, so fellow subway riders can be impressed that you’re reading Infinite Jest.
But by the time I scrolled down to the part about “infinite battery life,” the joke became clear: The Strindle is “powered by the white-hot rage of book lovers all over the world.”
A click on the “pre-order” button revealed the obvious: “Strand is still dedicated to selling paper books to avid readers and book lovers everywhere.”
Congrats, Strand. At least one person actually fell for this thing:
Fell for my first April Fool’s Day joke, the Strand’s Strindle e-reader. I didn’t expect a book store to produce such a sophisticated joke.
— Robert S. Robbins (@Robert_Robbins) April 1, 2018