Immer is the winner of the Renew the Book Innovation Award 2021, an initiative of the book trade in The Netherlands, intended to encourage innovation. This was announced by jury chairman Hans Lodders on Tuesday afternoon, March 30th. The prize includes a sum of 50,000 euros.
Immer colleagues Niels ’t Hooft (r) and Lennart de Meij (l) were present with the other nominees (Scrollbook by Joop Akerboom and Book door Puck from Studio Winegum) at the announcement in Amsterdam and were able to pick up the award themselves.
Fifteen minutes of ‘Immering’ a day
The jury chose Immer because of the 34 submissions, it is the innovation that, in their opinion, serves the reader the best. Lodders joked that it would be nice if reading with the Immer app eventually became just as common as Netflixing, and everyone started Immering for 15 minutes a day. From the explanation by Hans Lodders on behalf of the jury:
Immer has a beautiful and important objective: the promotion of deep reading, making clever use of the power of what appears to be the enemy: the mobile phone. With its innovation, Immer removes all barriers and excuses surrounding reading. When using the app, the jury notices how much thought has gone into the reader experience, design, technology, and that a writer is at the helm. Delicious, and addictive.
Immer is a unique all-in-one concept that helps both with choosing a book and the reading itself, with enormous growth potential. Immer sparks hope that from now on, instead of watching Netflix or Instagramming all the time, we will start Immering every day for fifteen minutes and read.
Read the entire quote in Dutch on the GAU website.
Niels ’t Hooft’s first reaction
Niels ’t Hooft, founder of Immer: “With Immer, we want to turn all the good things about paper books into a whole new digital form that fits into the busy and distracted lives of the 21st century, and that is no easy task. We have been working on it for a long time and are also far from finished. Innovation takes persistence, resourcefulness, flexibility, and involves a lot of trial and error. In the book trade you have to include the interests and insights of readers, writers, publishers and reading scientists. We do that, and we are very happy and proud that it has now been recognized with the Renew the Book Innovation Award. The 50,000 euros will serve us very well to further develop Immer.”
Encouraging words from the Minister of Education, Culture and Science
During the presentation, all nominees were praised by outgoing Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven (Education, Culture and Science), who attended the meeting via video connection. She praised the possibilities of reading on the smartphone, and stressed the importance of looking for ways to keep young people interested in reading. Finally, she expressed the hope that as many of the nominated initiatives as possible will find their way to the market.