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Spike in travel to Myanmar driving interest in Bockino's new book on 'mysterious' country

The assistant professor in the School of Communications participated in a Q&A interview with The Myanmar Times to highlight his experiences while traveling through Myanmar, a trip extensively featured in his recently released Kindle Single.

The Myanmar Times interviewed Assistant Professor David Bockino for an article highlighting his e-book, “Greetings from Myanmar.”

Myanmar, the country formerly known as Burma, has been garnering increased attention as a top travel destinaton, and more travelers are turning to "Greetings from Myanmar," the new Kindle Single published this summer by Elon University's David Bockino, to learn more about the Southeast Asian country. 

An assistant professor in the School of Communications, Bockino was recently interviewed by The Myanmar Times, an independent English-language newspaper in the country, and has recorded an interview with Kai Ryssdal, host of the popular radio program Marketplace, that's slated to air on the NPR program at a later date. 

"There are not a lot of books on this country, and a lot has been going on there in the last five years," Bockino said. "It was a country that was sort of mysterious in a way, and now that veil has been taken away. I think there is just this baseline curiosity about the place."

Organized around Bockino’s experiences in Myanmar in summer 2015, “Greetings from Myanmar” examines the Southeast Asian nation’s shift from military authoritative rule to a quasi-democratic regime. The book cover was created by Evan Twohy.

Greetings from Myanmar” examines the country’s rapid transition from a half-century of military rule to one of the world’s most attractive tourist destinations. This seismic shift, punctuated by the recent presidential appointment of Htin Kyaw, has led to a significant increase in international travelers.

In summer 2015, Bockino was among those visitors, and his experiences during his two and a half weeks in the country serve as the backbone of the Kindle Single e-book. In the July 27 article in The Myanmar Times titled “Book details ‘the price of progress’ in Myanmar,” Bockino explains that what drew him to the country was the evolution of the place from one that was little known to one that was named in recent years as "Destination of the Year" by travel organizations and magazines. 

"In the end, my hope is that people learn a thing or two about the country, and read 'Greetings from Myanmar' not in isolation, but as a starting point to explore what I feel is a truly fascinating place," Bockino told the newspaper. 

An avid traveler, Bockino published his first book, titled “The Guidebook Experiment: Discovering Exploration in a Hyper-Connected World,” in 2015. The book explores how the proliferation of guidebook material has fundamentally altered the nature of travel.

Bockino said this week that the Kindle Single platform allowed him an avenue to translate his experiences traveling into the country and the extensive background research he conducted into a shorter read without undertaking a full-length book. The Kindle Single staff has also been working to market the book, which has helped push it up the rankings on Amazon.com.  He hopes "Greetings from Myanmar" as a shorter work provides a pathway to longer works he may publish in the future. 

"Some people want just 70 pages and an intro, and if they like that, then they will dive into a 400-page book," Bockino said. 

Tommy Kopetskie,
7/29/2016 12:40 PM