Doris Lessing’s The Golden Notebook

November 7, 2008

I’m very pleased to announce that Doris Lessing’s The Golden Notebook, a collaboration between my employer Apt and The Institute for the Future of the Book, is now live.

Several months ago we heard that the Institute was setting up in the UK, and we approached Chris Meade with a view to working with if:book London on a joint project. The result of this was the realisation of a long-cherished idea from Bob Stein, the founder of the Institute. Bob had recently reread Doris Lessing’s classic novel The Golden Notebook, and wanted to bring it to a new audience by creating a public reading group, composed of younger readers.

With Lessing the recent recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature, it seemed an appropriate time. We approached HarperCollins, Lessing’s publisher, and persuaded them to allow us to use the full text of the novel online, in the most accessible format we could. We built a website which allows the text to be read, bookmarked and commented on, page by page; a blog for the readers; and a forum where the public could discuss the novel, and the reading of it – all built on free, open-source software.

This Monday, November 10th, the reading begins. Seven readers, invited by the institute and including novelists, screenwriters, critics, and journalists, will read and comment on the book, and everyone is invited to join in. We’re very proud to be a part of this collaboration, and hope it’s a great success.


  1. […] project by Apt & Institute for the Future of the Book, via BookTwo: Several months ago we heard that the Institute for the Future of the Book was setting up in the […]

    Pingback by Doris Lessing’s Notebook — November 8, 2008 @ 6:13 pm

  2. Hey, wonderful wonderful project … where does one get one’s hands on the source code?

    Comment by hugh — November 9, 2008 @ 6:23 pm

  3. Hey Hugh – it’s built on open-source code (WordPress and Vanilla) but it’s not ready to be released itself at this stage. We have discussed it, and would like to, but want to see how this project goes first, to see what it throws up, and it needs a bit more work before it’s ready for the public…

    Comment by James Bridle — November 9, 2008 @ 6:29 pm

  4. sure thing, understood. anyway, love the look. great work & good luck with it.

    Comment by hugh mcguire — November 9, 2008 @ 6:41 pm

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