When I first saw this book sealed in a bag of water, I didn't like it because I thought the book would soon disintegrate. The song "Message in a Bottle" by the Police started playing in my head. Perhaps the book was "sending out an S.O.S." to be rescued? Or was this some 21st-century message in a bottle—a tome of desperation-filled emo poems sealed within a (leaking) plastic bag and tossed into the local reservoir? Both are cries for assistance.
I was relieved instead to find that this was:
...the fantastic new Italian limited commemorative edition of Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea designed by Paolo Orsacchini. It's printed on waterproof paper and enclosed in a clear pouch filled with real sea water. Collectors can either bust it out of its original packaging, dry it under the sun, and enjoy a classic read, or they can preserve this limited piece in all its designed glory.
This packaging creates its own experience beyond the amazing story sealed inside. It's now more art object than literary classic.
There's real sea water in there, and I want to know what sea this water is from. Is it polluted? Was it filtered before being sealed around this book? What will happen to the book over time? Even though the paper is waterproof, salt water is incredibly corrosive even to the iron hulls of ships.
If you owned this, would you contentedly leave it as is, or would you have to know what the book looked like inside?
FYI — I searched and searched the Web for a store selling this, and I couldn't find one. (It would probably help if I were fluent in Italian...)
And I still can't get that song out of my head...
Book/art object found at Core77.