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Old 02-03-2013, 06:44 AM   #16
kennyc
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I'm currently re-reading a paperback I bought in 1980.

Try as I might, I can't find a way to increase the font size.
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Old 02-03-2013, 06:44 AM   #17
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I personally had stopped reading entire books all together until I bought my first tablet/Ereader
( the kindle fire)

The convenience of having a highly portable library of multiple type of reading materials from Sci-Fi& non fiction novels to Marvel/Darkhorse/IDW comic books has been a great advantage for me made possible by "technology".


Cheers
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Old 02-03-2013, 07:14 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by kennyc View Post
I object to the premise "humans are the only species that is curious" - what bullsh*t.
Yeah.
Obviously not a cat owner.
Or dog owner.
Or pretty much any kind of non-exotic pet/companion larger than a gold fish.

They may not be able to read and have limited problem solving skills but curiosity is the one thing our co-evolved species do not lack.

Last edited by fjtorres; 02-03-2013 at 07:17 AM.
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Old 02-03-2013, 07:30 AM   #19
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Now, on to the topic:
Technology can add marginal value to the reading experience through availability, user customization, user asistance (dictionaries, reference links etc) and sheer efficiency.
But books, p- or e-, are a pretty basic product not unlike the classic construction tools: there is only so much "refinement" you can pile on to a hammer or an axe before it becomes something other than a hammer or an axe.

The reading experience itself is pretty fundamental: eyes meet words on a surface. Much effort is being expended exploring the bounds of what current or near-term technology can do for reading. But a lot of the efforts being tried to "evolve" reading are simply creating new derivative products that might be useful and worthy but that aren't really books. And a lot of the experiences they facilitate aren't really reading, though reading may be involved.
"There be dragons" out there.
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Old 02-03-2013, 07:51 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by kennyc View Post
I object to the premise "humans are the only species that is curious" - what bullsh*t.
Especially since I just finished viewing a program on Animal Planet showing Japanese macacque troops spending winter months in hot springs, and others scouring beaches for shells and other sea food. How did this get started? According to the researchers who discovered this some 60 years ago, it was due to the curiosity of leading females, who then taught all other macacques to do the same. Younger macacques are now learning how to dive and take advantage of food found at the bottom of the springs. Once they grow up, they will teach this behaviour to their offspring. As the narrator said, this is evolution happening right before our eyes.

Plus, the saying "Curiosity killed a cat" says it all, doesn't it?
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:13 PM   #21
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Being able to get books easily and change the font size, and font if the font is bothering me, makes it more enjoyable for me. Being able to carry a huge selection of books with me so I have choices if a book starts to bore me makes reading more enjoyable for me. Also, my e-readers are lighter than most books I read (I intend that word to be in the past tense), and easier to hold, plus I don't have to hold the pages back with my hand. I have some carpal tunnel syndrome in one hand and I do find that a bit easier. They're little things but I do enjoy reading more with a lightweight e-ink e-reader than with a book. I did not enjoy reading on my iPad more than reading a book. It was too heavy and the wrong size for me, plus the backlit screen is harder on my eyes.

It isn't a big deal, but it's enough that I'm reading much more than I was.
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:31 PM   #22
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Besides the occasional thread drift, thanks for the insightful replies. I agree, we have seen some things from technology that improve reading in some, or most, cases:
- immediate access to a large portion of, if not your entire, library; and if online, access to all the available public domain works and whatever you care to buy, without leaving your La-Z-Boy
- improved readability (front-lit panels, changeable fonts and sizes)
- instant access to a dictionary (in some cases, at least - the technology of e-reading supports it)
- audio books - my wife, for health reasons, now listens to many books that she would have read years ago. The limit here is where diagrams or photos or video are required. At that point, including them makes them more like a "The Teaching Company" DVD than something I would call reading.

I would add things beyond, for example, ePub 2, such as external links to many types of additional information: author biographies, book commentaries, reviews (and someone mentioned the social aspect). I don't mean to limit the discussion to a current specification, but did intend to limit it to activities we can think of as "reading". Listening to someone read a book is on the edge of that, I guess, but making a multimedia production (adding full-time video and sound) of a book is something else to me; i.e. not "reading".

I had excluded things like textbooks from my thinking, and said to myself that interactivity is outside the scope of what reading is, but now I'm not sure that a version of Euclid's Elements, for example, with interactive drawings and a geometry engine behind it (think Wolfram) will be outside what we consider "reading" in the future. When you move beyond printed or displayed words to illustrations and photos and sounds, then extensions of these things stretch the meaning of reading.
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:12 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by derangedhermit View Post
I would add things beyond, for example, ePub 2, such as external links to many types of additional information: author biographies, book commentaries, reviews (and someone mentioned the social aspect).
If you haven't seen the "Marvin" reader yet, you should really take a look. It has really taken ePub 2 to new areas (like what you are talking about here). It is currently for iPad only but the developer has already started on iPhone and plans android after that.

It is hands down better than any other reader I've seen...and free!!
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:27 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
Yeah.
Obviously not a cat owner.
Or dog owner.
Or pretty much any kind of non-exotic pet/companion larger than a gold fish.

They may not be able to read and have limited problem solving skills but curiosity is the one thing our co-evolved species do not lack.
If you think animals have limited problem solving skills watch daylight robbery (the one with the squirrels)
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:32 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by cromag View Post
I'm currently re-reading a paperback I bought in 1980.

Try as I might, I can't find a way to increase the font size.
Have you never heard of a magnifying glass?
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:09 PM   #26
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If you think animals have limited problem solving skills watch daylight robbery (the one with the squirrels)
Try asking them about the square root of two.

("Limited" doesn't mean they don't have any, merely that their focus is narrow. Most animals spend all their brainpower on procuring food and worrying about sex. Much like your typical teenager. )
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:11 PM   #27
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Try asking them about the square root of two.
Try asking the average person in the street about the square root of two. You'll probably get a response that's about as intelligent as that of the average chimpanzee.
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:13 PM   #28
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I doubt the average person on the street would throw poo at you for asking them a random math question... but then, I could be wrong. (verbal poo, at the least.)
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:16 PM   #29
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Try asking the average person in the street about the square root of two. You'll probably get a response that's about as intelligent as that of the average chimpanzee.
Harry, that is a degrading comment. The average chimp is way smarter than the average person on the street. For starters, chimps don't do drugs.
(Just booze and smokes.)
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Old 02-04-2013, 04:08 PM   #30
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If you haven't seen the "Marvin" reader yet, you should really take a look. It has really taken ePub 2 to new areas (like what you are talking about here). It is currently for iPad only but the developer has already started on iPhone and plans android after that.

It is hands down better than any other reader I've seen...and free!!
My understanding is the ePub 2 spec does not allow external links. I will look at Marvin, thanks for the suggestion - but if it is iOnly, or iSpecific, I won't be using it.
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