Round-Down: The Life-Saving Genius of The Drinkable Book

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A stack of "The Drinkable Book" sitting on a white background.Chemist Teri Dankovich recently created a life-saving tool in the form of a book with perforated pages that filter water. The book, simply called The Drinkable Book, “acts to both educate the user and purify their drinking water.” It is a low-cost, portable, and reliable alternative to other water purification systems and methods, and though it is not yet commercially available, it aims to be soon. Watch a video of The Drinkable Book in action here.

One copy contains twenty-five pages, and each page uses silver nanoparticles to filter up to twenty-six gallons of water. The pages also function as educational tools, drawing attention to the dangers of drinking unsafe water. An estimated 663 million live without access to improved drinking water, and with 3.4 million dying of water-related diseases every year, this new venture is capable of offering real, lasting, dramatic aid.

What’s especially striking is that this tool appears in book form, which seems both to demonstrate the versatility and range of the form on a literal level, as well as speak on the book as a trusted and revered educational object. More than interesting, the technology is game-changing. That it is presented in book form serves to underline the critical importance of the book at large.

This also raises questions about what else could, and should, be included in The Drinkable Book’s pages. When Dankovich presented The Drinkable Book to the American Chemical Society, she was asked whether she had considered using classical texts. Berman said, in response: “The idea of classical texts–that’s of interest maybe later. But we have discussed a little bit more exciting text. But we really haven‘t had the time to go through that part.”

The Drinkable Book even now, though, seems like the ideal book made cleanly, beautifully real, its practical utility as healthy and necessary as a powerful narrative. Its mission promises movement toward a better conclusion.

For more information about the Book, its uses, innovations, and technology, visit the project’s website or its IndieGoGo campaign.