Love ’em or hate ’em, Coldplay is a name with worldwide renown in the music world, and now they’ve got an interesting connection to libraries across the world as well. In publicity moves to garner buzz for their upcoming tour dates and sixth studio album, titled ‘Ghost Stories,’ the band has looked to libraries around the world to hide memorabilia for fans. Spread across local libraries in nine different countries, the band has hidden their singer’s handwritten lyrics for each of the album’s tracks. They’re hidden in books and collections about ghosts, of course.
Fans will have to follow the band on twitter to grab clues as to the location of each page, and then either have a lot of airfare on hand or hope they’re lucky enough to be located in the right parts of the globe. As an added bonus, one of the hidden stashes will contain, along with the song lyrics, a golden ticket that gets the winner into a special show in London this coming July.
As the announcement was just made this past Monday, there’s only speculation as to how the band came up with their library-ridden scheme of creating a contest, but for many it’ll be nice to see these community gems, at least for a time, back in the spotlight again.
In recent years, libraries in developed countries, and increasingly worldwide, have seen decreasing visitor and usage numbers. As the world starts turning digital pages on screens instead of paper ones in physical books, some libraries have become relics of a recent past in their respective communities. The significance of the contests like the one Coldplay is currently running can’t be understated, as libraries can use all the help they can get revitalizing interest in reading, especially among young people with the potential to become lifelong readers. Libraries have run all kinds of promotions in order to get kids interested lately, including a Florence, S.C. library last year that gave away raffle tickets to win a bike to children and teens who checked out a book. It’s not that libraries are uninteresting, of course, they just have more distractions and ways to fill time competing for the mind-space of children and teens than ever before.
Young people on the hunt for Coldplay’s hidden lyrics might just discover a book they like, or realize that the inspiration behind a lot of music has often come from the want of singer/songwriters to be able to tell stories with the same vividness of emotion brought about by a good story. It’s no secret that many great songwriters over time have been avid readers, and have, on more than one occasion, let slip their favorite poets and authors in an interview or two. Could Coldplay have a favorite set of ghost stories inspiring their latest album release and the tracks on it? It might be a bit of a stretch, but it’s not entirely out there. In the meantime, good luck to the lyric hunters around the globe (or is it “ghost hunters?”), and don’t forget to check out a good book or three while you’re at it.