Monday, July 27, 2009

“See Dick and Jane Screen” by Danny Bloom and Nina Munteanu


When my journalist friend Danny Bloom told me about the new term he’d invented to describe reading on the computer screen, I had to take it to the next level and here is what came of our collaboration (a new paradigm and a new book for your kids to learn the ABC’s of English (out soon on Amazon.com... LOL!):

See Jane screen. Jane is screening. Jane likes to screen.
See Dick screen. Dick is screening, too. Dick likes to screen.
See Dick and Jane screening. They are screening because they like to screen.
Screen, screen screen!
Screening is fun.
Hey, Mom and Dad, do you want to screen with us?
We are having fun screening.
Screening is so much fun.
We can screen all our books online now. We love to screen.
See Jane screen. Jane is screening. Jane likes to screen.

See Dick screen. Dick is screening, too. Dick likes to screen.
See Dick and Jane screening. They are screening because they like to screen.
Screen, screen screen!
Screening is fun.
Jane said: "Dick, Dick! Can you do this?"
"See Jane screen!" said Dick.
"See Jane screen on her new computer!"
"Jane is screening an old Dick and Jane book on her Kindle!" said Dick.
"See Jane screen!"

Dan, being who he is (see my post on his Polar Cities concept regarding Climate Change or go to his site) took it further (as in to the New York Times and the Blogosphere!). I am currently preparing for my next lecture at Scribblers (on St. Simon’s Island, GA, August 14-17, 2009) on “the Hero’s Journey”. If I was using Dan as an example, I’d assign him the archetype of HERALD: catalyst, subversive instigator or just plain **** disturber (you’d know that this is a true compliment, Dan, if you attended my lecture ... )

Well, not to stop a rolling stone or “random blooming”, Dan stumbled on Bill Hill’s site entitled “The Future of Reading”. Hill was a professional newspaper writer in Scotland for close to 20 years and saw the oncoming wave of desktop publishing in the 1980s. After helping set up the European operations of Aldus Corporation (Pagemaker) he worked for the Typography group at Microsoft. When he first started talking about reading on screen, people thought he was crazy. In May of this year Hill left Microsoft (I get the feeling it was a mutual parting) and he has recently applied his skills in typography and layout to a multi-column blog. You can see it here. More on this in a few paragraphs…

Dan and Bill had a most interesting discussion on the merits of using a new term for reading on screen. This prompted a blog response from Bill entitled “Why Creating A New Word for Reading On Screen Is a Terrible Idea.” (Well, it’s obvious what Bill thought of it from the title!)

“Creating a new term for reading onscreen is not only unnecessary, but actually counter-productive,” says Bill. “The term ‘screening’ is like admitting defeat—that somehow ‘reading on screen’ is different to ‘reading on paper’.” Well, it IS…at least right now. And it certainly is perceived as different, which is where Dan is coming from and addressing: our perceptions; and, in his activist style, changing them. Bill admits that “reading on screen is not as comfortable as reading from paper.”

“Screening” will not likely achieve that wonderful touchy-feely sensation of the smell and texture of paper, of cracking open a book and smelling those pages (I love that smell!). But, let’s look at the ways that screening being different is a good thing: web-based reading offers many things that orinary paper cannot. Depth. Choices. Links. Sound. Motion. Etc. Etc. The stuff that is bringing people, youth particularly, back to reading. That’s not to say that “smart” paper won’t do some of these things. The upshot is that our whole paradigm of writing and reading is changing and the internet plays a major role.

Consider this:

  • Reading and writing remain the primary means of human communication (check out your kid’s main choice for cell phone communication: texting
  • Primary sources for information gathering has moved from paper and paper establishments (e.g., physical libraries) to digital sources (e.g., google, online libraries) for various reasons, including saving storage costs, rent and not to mention the trees
  • Despite this major move, reading onscreen is still inferior to reading on paper
Hill claims that a multi-column layout is much more suited to the screen than single-column (because of the way human vision works). It needs pagination though and, with many different sizes and shapes of screen, information has to be paginated “on the fly” for each device, which requires adaptive layout. You can see examples of this in the New York Times Reader. But no one’s done it on the Web yet.

“I happen to believe that the first Web browser to do this properly will leave others sitting in the dust, wondering just where their market share disappeared to.” (Bill Hill)

Check out Bill’s multicolumn layout here and tell me what you think. Says Bill: “Fixing reading on screen is vitally important for the human race. You can instantly create the Library of Congress in a village in West Africa. Digital information can be easily translated into minority languages. Books will cost less. Information can be kept up to date. And so on.”

So, to borrow from yet another literary quote, “to screen or not to screen, that is the question…whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageously boring script or to design layout against a sea of scribbles…and by opposing end them? Perchance to dream…for in that sleep what dreams may come…”

In a recent issue of "The Cord Weekly" Wilfred Laurier University's paper, Allie Maxted lamented on the copious grammatical errors in the winning poetry submissions. "It's up to people to take control of their own language use and in doing so, take control of meaning."

Using words impeccably resonates with me, given the power of language and its importance in defining our cultures, in forming our thoughts, and directing the evolution of our species in a changing world. Language forms our very “way of life”. Think of it. Think of how you speak to your children, to your peers, to your leaders. Think of the great orators and the not so great ones. Our choice of words—or lack of attention to them—says a lot about our heritage, our philosophy, our education, our beliefs and our morality and ethics. Use of vernacular. Use of vulgarity or profanity. Use of multi-syllable words. Use of words that describe beauty vs. ugliness or positive vs. negativity. Use of passive vs. active verbs. All these identify us and define us. Perhaps most importantly, our language projects where we are going. Language, like art, reflects our humanity and affirms our life choices. Where are YOU going?


36 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bill has his head together. And he is bang on about the multi-column issue. It is a problem when reading a newsletter on screen that was formatted for paper with two or more columns. You have to constantly move the image around on the screen as you move around the article.

The multi-media page is over-hyped and increadibly annoying. Nothing worse than trying to read a page with a video running beside the text or some annoying voice over or poorly chosen/rendered music starts running.

One other benefit of real paper - I turn the page and the next page is there!!! No waiting for download, no 404, no flash, screen redraw. WWW = World Wide Wait!

You talk about variety of sources and choices available via internet. Choice is good but only if you know what you are choosing between and know the quality. Remember, most High Schools and Universities do not accept Wikipedia as a source that can be cited. Too much crap out there.

OMG - using Screen as a verb for reading from an electronic display. Your Dick and Jane example was ridiculuous (but the Dick and Jane readers were pretty lame to begin with). Screen already has enough meaings - Screen (noun) - something to project images on. Screen (verb) act of screening images. Screen (noun) a partition between two areas - often thin and made of cloth. Screen (noun) an item used as a filter. ... With out pictures, Dick and Jane could be showing a movie, could be re-decorating, could be making paper (so they could then write a book).

At our house, all the serious and recreational reading is via print on paper!! Reasearch and news and trivial stuff - we go to the web. The research is often to find a book that can be used to illuminate the subject.

Paper is different than digital medium. Vive la difference.

Sincerely,
Limburger

(currently reading Neuromancer - a print-on-paper hardcover BOOK)

SF Girl said...

LOL! Ridiculous? Well, that's the whole point! HAR!... I always thought Dick and Jane were a little... well... (small grin)...

You say that "Choice is good but only if you know what you are choosing between and know the quality. Remember, most High Schools and Universities do not accept Wikipedia as a source that can be cited. Too much crap out there." YES! EXACTLY! You are describing both the best and the worst of the Internet and what makes it so amazing and wonderful: the fact that it does NOT FILTER OUT anything makes it a WORLD-WIDE LEVEL PLAYING FIELD permitting all kinds of information, free opinion, biases, etc. (yes, good and bad). And, yes, you must be a discerning person to navigate it and use it well. Like anything that is complex and large and worthwhile, it requires work.

As for paper and books, I hope they are here to stay. I think they are. I LOVE the texture and smell of paper and reading a real book. BUT, what we are seeing, particularly with youth (and you alluded to this in a previous comment on my blog)is that they are reading books less and reading on screen more--and I mean recreationally. Your house might be a paper island in a sea of "screening"... :)

Jean-Luc Picard said...

If I see any more screens, I'll scream!

By the way, they are Janet and John over here in Britain. Don't ask why!

SF Girl said...

HAHA, Jean-Luc! "I screen, you screen, we all screen for less screen!"

I didn't know it was "Janet and John" in Britain... :) Did they have a dog named Spot, though?...

dan said...

Nina

This was a great post, well thought out and well presented. Did I forget the hyphens? I did!

I loved all the comments, and I hope Bill Hill in the Seattle area will read your blog and comment here, too. He is on top of the entire situation and has many important things to say. He believes that one day reading on the Internet screens will be as easy to the eye as reading on paper, but he says the industry is not listening. They are going after feature lists, instead of trying to make the reading experience online, er, SCREENING, as similar to reading on paper -- REAL READING -- as possible. Time will tell. Bill Hill must be listened to by the industry CEOs, but sadly, they aren't.

As for ice scream, Alex Beam had a good column on the screening word as a neologism on June 19 in the Boston Globe, google it on your screen, and it was titled "I screen, you screen, we all screen".

Will "screening" ever be accepted as a new word for reading on screens? Kevin Kelly of Wired magazine told me: "I"d be happy to see screening used as a verb for reading on a screen, yes!" And Marvin Minsky of the MIT Media Labs in Boston, he of the artificial intelligence work, said he also likes "screening" as a new word to describe what we do on screens, but he suggests we use "screen-reading" instead. I like his idea, too.

Okay, question here: if screening as a new word does not make the cut, and it might not, and that's okay, WHAT OTHER WORD or TERM could you suggest for what we do on screens, to differentiate it from READING ON paper surfaces?

I have been told so far:

diging
scanning
browsing
screading
screeeding
perusing
and 25 others terms

Esther Dyson told me that she feels "screening" is not such a good word for what we do on screens, and she noted that she thinks that what will happen is that the word READING will take on new meanings in the Internet/Screening Age, and those new meanings for reading will do the trick, and a new word will NOT be necessary. She also told me: "It's okay to make mistakes."

I like that advice. I like Esther Dryon's spunk!

http://zippy1300.blogspot.com

Danny, sh*t disturber

dan said...

One thing that I want to say is this: I have a hunch that different parts of the human brain light up when we read on paper surfaces compared to when we read on screen plastic pixelated digitalized surfaces. And this needs to be studied more by PHDs and psychologists. That's part of my agenda here. To get more studies done and publicized.

But yes, both reading on paper and reading on screens (er, screening) are good. I like to do both. I do both every day. But I must admit, Luddite that I am -- I live in a cave in south Taiwan without even owning a computer or a car or a TV -- and I have no idea what an iPod is or an iPhone for that matter, and blackberries are what I eat for supper here -- that said, I must admit, I prefer books, newspapers and magazines printed on paper. Until my dying day, I will I will I will. But screening is very useful and great for research, yes, and these blogs and email apps are FUN, too. How else would I have ever met up with Nina?

So long live "screening" and long live the Internet.

Now, not everyone agrees with my screening word idea, and that's okay. I am not married to the word "screening". A new word might happen one day, too, an entirely new and surprising word. But I just feel we do need a new word for reading on screens, just to differentiate the two phenoms.

However, a leading light in the Internet world, Don Norman, told me yesterday re all this, and he gave me permission to print his words here too:



"Dear Dan ,

(cc’ing Jakob [Nielsen] because he might find my response interesting.)

There are many forms of reading. We already talk about skimming and browsing, about being deeply engrossed in reading, and surface versus reflective reading. I see no need for yet another term that is dependent upon technology.

When I read deeply on my Kindle, I call it reading. It is no different than when I read deeply with a book. In both cases, I want the technology to disappear (paper or book reader) and to become engrossed in the story or the ideas.

You suggest “screening.” I see no need for such a term.

-- Don Norman
Nielsen Norman group
Northwestern University & KAIST (Korea)

SF Girl said...

You raise some very interesting questions, Dan... I know that this research is being done too... For instance...

In an article entitled, "Why Don't We Read So Well On A Screen? Reading On A Screen Gives Us More Brain Stress Than Reading The Same Text On Paper" the University of Stavanger said:
"Clicking and scrolling interrupt our attentional focus. Turning and touching the pages instead of clicking on the screen influence our ability for experience and attention. The physical manipulations we have to do with a computer, not related to the reading itself, disturb our mental appreciation, says associate professor Anne Mangen at the Center for Reading Research at the University of Stavanger in Norway. She has investigated the pros and cons of new reading devices.

In her article 'Digital fiction reading: Haptics and immersion', recently published in the Journal of Research in Reading, Mangen maintains that reading on a screen generates a new form of mental orientation. The reader loses both the completeness and constituent parts of the physical appearance of the reading material. The physical substance of a book offers tranquility. The text does not move on the page like it does on a screen."

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/133950.php

A colleague of mine told me about another study that differentiated how the brain processed information and memory depending on whether they were watching a movie screen or a computer screen. Cool stuff!

dan said...

Wow, bingo! Dr Anne Mangen is my main teacher on all of this! I was not even thinking too much about this topic UNTIL about 6 months ago, i found Anne Mangen's research paper online in that very same article you mention! I wrote to her, emailed back and forth, and I asked her FIRST, what did she think of my idea of a new word such as screening to help differentiate the two kinds of reading, paper versus screen. And she wrote back and said that she found the word "screening" adequate in some ways but inadequate in other ways, I will quote the letter verbatim in just a few seconds. Internet time.

But yes yes, Dr Anne Mangen is leading the charge on this. I am just a foot soldier in the great unknown, doing some PR for these ideas. In fact, Dr Mangen's work was mentioned in Alex Beam's June 19 column in the Boston Globe because I whispered her name in his ear, from Taiwan to Boston no less, in Internet time, and this week, a reporter for the Associated Press in NYC, who covers the book industry, is set to interview Dr Mangen for a major AP wire story about the future of reading -- and the future of books! -- again by my quiet instigation. I said to the reporter: "I know of a very important person in Norway doing top research on all this and she would make a great interview for AP", and he said to me: "Who?"

And I e-whispered: Anne Mangen. Hopefull, we will see the AP story about her soon. She's Norwegian but she writes all her academic papers in English, and I think she is a pioneer in this field.

SF Girl said...

LOL! Dan, you talk to the neatest people... :)

dan said...

That's why I love screening.....!

SF Girl said...

HAHA! Me too, Dan!

dan said...

Come to think of it, that's how we met, back in the day, while screening, you and I, before the word "screening" has ever been coined.....LOL!

SF Girl said...

Yes, Dan... that was B.S. ... LOL! "Before Screening" !! OH, dear! LOL! HAR! (Grabbing my sides to keep them from splitting!)

dan said...

B.S. and A.S. -- oh no!

dan said...

NOTE:

When I asked Anne Mangen, associate professor
at the National Center for Reading Research and Education at the
University of Stavanger in Norway, what she thought about the word
screening for reading on a screen, she told me by email: about 3 months ago:

"My first
impression is that the term 'screening' is adequate in some
respects, but not in others. It's adequate to the extent that it
points to certain differences in the reading mode which has to do with
the display nature, the central bias of a screen compared to a page of
print text (our gaze is naturally oriented towards the center), and
the image-like character of modalities (we tend to read a screen
spatially, in contrast to the page which we linearly)."

but she then ADDED:

"Screening as a new word is not
adequate insofar as it does not discriminate between different kinds
of screening - we can also screen a print text (scan, filter, skim
etc.), and we perceive different kinds of screens differently (compare
the TV with the cell phone, the e-book with the laptop)."

Regards,
Anne Mangen
Ph. D., associate professor
National Centre for Reading Research and Education
University of Stavanger

dan said...

Bill Hill says this:

we are "still paying the price of an engineering shortcut taken 16 years ago"

THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT I THINK: -- danny...READ BELOW: these are Bill Hill words:


'' ...16 years ago, when the programmers at the NSCA were creating Mosaic, the first Web browser, they made an engineering decision based on expediency. They took an easy option - for which we're all still paying a huge price in terms of the readability of the Web.

"How do we display content?" the engineers asked themselves.

"Pagination's hard. The easy way is to display it all in a bottomless window, so the reader can scroll through it. Then it doesn't matter how much content there is on a Web page."

Scrolling is much less suited to the way humans read than paging through content.

The human visual system - the eyes, the muscles which control them, the optic nerve and the brain - operates like a high-speed, high-resolution scanning machine. When reading, it scans four targets per second (taking only 25ms to move from one target to the next, each target about 5-7 characters wide).

Type (and layout) has evolved over the 5500 years since writing systems first appeared - and especially since the widespread adoption of Gutenberg's moveable metal type - to optimize for the way human vision works.

(Read my paper: http://www.billhillsite.com/osprey.doc for more)

Sure, you can learn to make do with scrolling to read, if there's nothing better. And there's no choice on the Web today.

And that's what we need to fix to make reading - and design - first-class citizens on the Web.

It won't be easy. It'll mean re-educating the design community in a new paradigm. But it'll be worth it. It took millions of years for human vision to develop (starting with our primate ancestors). 16 years of the Web isn't going to change the way human vision works.

We can make do with less than the best. But why should we have to? The problems can all be solved."

dan said...

The discussion is getting interestinger and interestinger....

a book publisher in NYC tells me:

His secretary tells me: for him, and permission to print here okay:

"Dear Dan,

Thanks very much for writing to Steve on his blog. He finds your
distinction between reading and screening to be intriguing (and it
certainly gives us all pause to consider just what it is we’re doing
with our eyeballs these days!). He’ll see if he can blog on it somehow
in one of his future blogs."

AND, another top Internet thinker, who shall remain unID'd for now,
but he will surface later, in his own words, tells me:

Hi Dan,


Screening, of course, is not a new term, but this might just be the
time that it catches on...

Screening is a clever and useful term capturing the fact that the
experience reading on a screen is fundamentally different from reading
on paper. Not a priori worse or better; just different.

It is the right word for the moment in terms of drawing people's
attention to the vast literary shift about to wash over us."

AND YET, a top New York Times reporter, in the tech field, tells me, joining the naysayers camp and refusing to write anything about screening in his paper or on his tech blog in the Times, he says:

"Dan,

I agree with some of your other correspondents. Reading is reading. We speak of dialing a phone even though we don't use dials any longer. Screening already has another meaning as well. "Screening" is an interesting idea, but it's probably needed as much as if you were to say you "screened" television instead of "watching" it.

Take care."

THE SCORE AT HALFTIME: 50-50.

SF Girl said...

WOW!... We certainly are getting quite the range of opinions here between the 50 on one side and the 50 on the other re a new meaning for "screening" and a new paradigm for reading...Very interesting, Dan... Wouldn't you say?

dan said...

I would say veddy interesting, Nina, yes. The problem, though, is that the news media, from the NY Times to the Washington Post to the Seattle Times to the Vancouver Sun, the editors who control and ebb and flow of the news cycles, they are NOT interested in this discussion at all, and use every dodge they can think of to get out of reporting on it, even interviewing top experts in the field like Dr Anne Mangen in Norway or Kevin Kelly in California. The media people are more interested in reporting on the latest gadgets, the latest tech toys, than doing any deep think pieces, pro or con, on this. Like today, I got a nice letter from a friend who works for the New York Times, he dismisses all this with a wave of his hand, saying:

"I agree with the naysayers. Reading is reading. "Screening" is an interesting idea, but it's probably needed as much as if you were to say you "screened" television instead of "watching" it."

If I can't get the New York Times to roll over and look interested, then nobody will ever report this. It's like another NYTimes editor told me the other day:

"Dan, we'll report this when it becomes a new word. Until then, sayonara!"

It's going to take a really top-notch and perceptive reporter for a major newspaper or magazine to get behind the issue and knock it up a few notches so more people can hear and read about it and discuss it, pro and con.

I think the man who told me this said it best:

"It is the right word for the moment in terms of drawing people's
attention to the vast literary shift about to wash over us.""

On va voir, as we say on my part of the island....

SF Girl said...

Yes, indeed, we'll see (as an old Zen master once said to me... :)

I really liked that quote too: "It is the right word for the moment in terms of drawing people's
attention to the vast literary shift about to wash over us."

The writer in me particularly liked his use of imagery. Very fitting. Yes, we'll see...

dan said...

Nina, me too!

re: ["I really liked that quote too: "It is the right word for the moment in terms of drawing people's
attention to the vast literary shift about to wash over us."]

''Drawing people's
attention to the vast literary shift about to wash over us''.... is exactly what the news media stories about this should be about, yes yes yes.

The guy who said that is a genius. He lives in California.

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I would think it would be quite obvious why the newspapers aren't interested in the discussion.

Denial.

Isn't this whole concept a bit threatening on a bread and butter level to the whole idea of newspapaers? It must make them feel like they are being left behind on some level due to their media of information dissemination.

TMY.

SF Girl said...

LOL! Yes... Denial.... the root of all... well.... what was I saying?...

Anyway, that is why that Californian's quote, and Bill Hill's quote which I bolded in my post, is so topical...and threatening...

... SCREENING, HERE WE COME!

Heather Dugan ("Footsteps") said...

Another interesting(and humorous) post, Nina! I remember reading a "Dick and Jane" my mom had kept from her teaching days -less than compelling, as I recall.
 
Reading is my "wind down" before sleeping, and a screen will never replace an actual book in that setting. ~But they'll probably come up with an app to project the whole thing on our bedroom ceilings next...

SF Girl said...

LOL! Yes... shades of "Fahrenheit 451" ... we may yet come full circle to cave dweller pictures on the "wall"...

dan said...

Heather Dugan,

re:

"Reading is my "wind down" before sleeping, and a screen will never replace an actual book in that setting. ~But they'll probably come up with an app to project the whole thing on our bedroom ceilings next..."

ACTUALLY, if you read Nicholas Baker's takedown smackdown of KINDLE on the August 3 issue of the New Yorker this week, online available, he says that he will mildly dislikes KINDLE for reading, he did buy an iPhone app for Kindle which he loves and allows him to read silently at night with the screen light up on the phone, while in bed without disturbing his wife next to him. So you can read in bed on a very tiny screen, and he said he loves it. I will find the graf soon.... go look meanwhile...the entire article, 6000 words is on my blog too, http://zippy1300.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

''My wife is an avid ink-and-paper book reader. She absolutely loves the kindle app on her iPhone. The books are less expensive, take up no (physical) space, she always has it with her, and they are very readable (even in bright sun by the pool or in the dark in bed at night). So, kudos to Amazon for the kindle store. And kudos to Apple for the iPhone. The iPhone can be a book-reader one minute, and a turn-by-turn GPS the next, and a video game the next, and a web-surfer, the next, and an email machine the next, and a movie player the next ,etc. etc. etc. etc. And it does all of those things really well. Quite amazing. I can see why it is so popular.''

-- glen engelmann

dan said...

''At night, I switched over to the e-book version on the iPod ($7.99 from the Kindle Store), so that I could carry on in the dark. I began swiping the tiny iPod pages faster and faster. ''

Nick Baker

AND

"Amazon, with its listmania lists and its sometimes inspired recommendations and its innumerable fascinating reviews, is very good at selling things. It isn’t so good, to date anyway, at making things. But, fortunately, if you want to read electronic books there’s another way to go. Here’s what you do. Buy an iPod Touch (it costs seventy dollars less than the Kindle 2, even after the Kindle’s price was recently cut), or buy an iPhone, and load the free “Kindle for iPod” application onto it. Then, when you wake up at 3 A.M. and you need big, sad, well-placed words to tumble slowly into the basin of your mind, and you don’t want to wake up the person who’s in bed with you, you can reach under the pillow and find Apple’s smooth machine and click it on. It’s completely silent. Hold it a few inches from your face, with the words enlarged and the screen’s brightness slider bar slid to its lowest setting, and read for ten or fifteen minutes. Each time you need to turn the page, just move your thumb over it, as if you were getting ready to deal a card; when you do, the page will slide out of the way, and a new one will appear. After a while, your thoughts will drift off to the unused siding where the old tall weeds are, and the string of curving words will toot a mournful toot and pull ahead. You will roll to a stop. A moment later, you’ll wake and discover that you’re still holding the machine but it has turned itself off. Slide it back under the pillow. Sleep.

I’ve done this with Joseph Mitchell’s “The Bottom of the Harbor” ($13.80 Kindle, $17.25 paperback) and with Wilkie Collins’s “The Moonstone.” The iPod screen’s resolution, at a hundred and sixty-three pixels per inch, is fairly high. (It could be much higher, though. High pixel density, not a reflective surface, is, I’ve come to believe, what people need when they read electronic prose.) There are other ways to read books on the iPod, too. My favorite is the Eucalyptus application, by a Scottish software developer named James Montgomerie: for $9.99, you get more than twenty thousand public-domain books whose pages turn with a voluptuous grace. There’s also the Iceberg Reader, by ScrollMotion, with fixed page numbers, and a very popular app called Stanza. In Stanza, you can choose the colors of the words and of the page, and you can adjust the brightness with a vertical thumb swipe as you read. Stanza takes you to Harlequin Imprints, the Fictionwise Book Store, O’Reilly Ebooks, Feedbooks, and a number of other catalogues. A million people have downloaded Stanza. (In fact, Stanza is so good that Amazon has just bought Lexcycle, which makes the software; meanwhile, Fictionwise has been bought by a worried Barnes & Noble.)

Forty million iPod Touches and iPhones are in circulation, and most people aren’t reading books on them. But some are. The nice thing about this machine is (a) it’s beautiful, and (b) it’s not imitating anything. It’s not trying to be ink on paper. It serves a night-reading need, which the lightless Kindle doesn’t. "

SF Girl said...

My son got a free itouch with the purchase of his Apple laptop and he just loves it! So do I! You're right... it is beautiful and its design and functions are elegant and logically thought out. Ah... the world of "screening..."

dan said...

Ah, the world of screenagers!

And screendults!

Anonymous said...

Well, I wouldn't exclude all that means electronic sources as we can no longer live without them. But I would still like printing all. It's so nice to underline, take notes on PAPER, even highlight with textmarkers.
Electronic databases are crucial, electronic books too, but I still prefer the PAPER.
This is even healthier for my eyes.

Marilena

SF Girl said...

I know what you mean, Marilena! I LOVE using my highlighter! It's the best! LOL!

SF Girl said...

And Danny.... Screenagers??? LOL! Now, we are definitely getting silly! I love it! And I think it may catch on... HAR!

dan said...

Nina, I did some research on screenagers, and in fact, the word was first coined in 1994......15 years ago....and I just heard of it this week......so news travels....slowly.....

1994! Where have we been?

I also found references today to "screeny" and "screenyness", from Cory Doctorow's Craphound.com blog.

SF Girl said...

LOL! Leave it to Cory to come up with something like that... But "Screenagers" in 1994??? WOW! Where HAVE we been?...

Jean-Luc Picard said...

I can't recall about Spot...it's been rather a long time since I read Janet and John