The Other Thing about E-Readers

June 25, 2009 at 3:18 pm | Posted in Book Blather | 5 Comments


It probably looks a little freaky to observers, but if you’re reading an e-book and you set the software to scroll, you don’t have to turn pages or interact with the device.  You just sit there and stare at it, and the words go flying by.  Sort of like the beginning of Star Wars, only not as slanty, and a whole lot faster.

The cool thing about this is that you can adjust the speed.  So I’m reading along, and reading along, and then I look up and realize I’m a third of the way through my book and I’ve been at it less than an hour.  It turns out I can read about 75 pages an hour with this thing!

I’d love it if all books were e-books, partly because the file size would always be the same.  No more variations between hardcover and paperback editions or different publishers.  Also no more heavy carry-on bags and no more moving 200-pound bookcases.


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  1. I think it would feel a little weird, to have the text moving across the page, instead of my eyes moving across the text. Does that take some getting used to?

    • I don’t think so, because you can continually adjust the scrolling speed as you read. I do have to turn the scrolling off when other people come through the room, but it’s easy to start and stop it.

  2. Ah, but no more enjoying the smell of a book either. No more appreciating the page texture or the cover art.

    Ultimately, I can’t see myself setting an e-reader to scroll and just going for it. One of the things I enjoy about reading is being able to backtrack within a sentence to reread some of the words or to see how the beginning of the sentence led me to the end of it.

    • Yes, but you can’t use an electronic search to see if, for instance, the word ‘insouciant’ appears in your book. The e-reader is unbelievably nice if you’re looking for a particular quote.

      As for the smell, I too enjoy the smell of certain books, but I’ve found the smell of mass market paperbacks to be actively repellent.

  3. Great post!

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