‘How cell phones would change the plots of famous books’

By David Rothman
August 1, 2015 // 1 Comment

Will e-books change the structure of novels—you know, “medium is the message” kind of stuff? Some say yes. Now here’s the same question about another technology, cell phones, and the effects of their existence on the plots of novels and other writings. In fact, with zillions of phones [ on]

E-books’ spinal deficiency

By Chris Meadows
June 6, 2015 // 5 Comments

On Mad Genius Club today, Cedar Sanderson is talking about formatting paperback book covers. Most of the post isn’t germane to e-books, but she does begin with this provocative tidbit: You know what the problem is with ebooks? They’re spineless, that’s what. Nothing to look at on the shelf, [ on]

Revisiting the Magic Mountain in Davos

By Paul St John Mackintosh
March 18, 2014 // 1 Comment

Davos in Switzerland is one of the cities lucky – or unfortunate- enough to be canonized by a 20th-century classic of intellectual and cultural crisis. Thanks to The Magic Mountain, Thomas Mann put Davos on the map alongside James Joyce’s Dublin, T.S. Eliot’s London, Andrei [ on]

Apple awarded patent for digital page turning

By Chris Meadows
November 18, 2012 // 5 Comments

Here I go, turn the page. On the NY Times Bits blog, Nick Bilton gleefully reports that the patent office has seen fit to award Apple a design patent on, of all things, the digital page turn used in iBooks. Bilton uses this as proof of the ridiculousness of the current patent system, as well as a [ on]

Of reading, classics, and guilty pleasures

By Chris Meadows
June 24, 2012 // 0 Comments

Here’s an amusing little blog post from the New York Times about reading and guilty pleasures. It seems to be saying that people feel guilty about reading modern (allegedly inferior) stuff they like instead of reading all those old hard-to-plow-through “classics” that (they feel) aren’t [ on]

Page-turning animation is popular for e-readers

By Chris Meadows
May 13, 2012 // 6 Comments

You wouldn’t think that you would find page-flipping on tablets. But many e-reading apps have it. iBooks has a page-turn animation, which it actually lifted (along with its wooden bookshelf display) from the iPhone e-reader “Classics”. Instapaper recently added page-flipping as an option [ on]

Classic literature: ‘Boring’ or relevant?

By Chris Meadows
January 25, 2012 // 8 Comments

I came across a rather interesting pair of posts on BookRiot today. Cassandra Neace opined that there’s no point in reading “the classics” anymore, because they are essentially boring—no four-letter words or sex and violence (because those classic writers were far too couth to include any [ on]

Booksurfers adds new life to classic public-domain books

By Chris Meadows
July 11, 2011 // 0 Comments

The Literary Platform has a look at a new publishing project called “Booksurfers”. Booksurfers e-books consist of classic, public-domain works (such as Treasure Island or The Wizard of Oz) paired and hypertextually interlinked with a newer work based on the older one. The article goes into [ on]

Microsoft patents virtual page-turning

By Chris Meadows
July 11, 2010 // 2 Comments

Here’s a weird bit of news. In a patent application filed in January, 2009, Microsoft laid claim to the idea of virtual page-turning, the way iBooks does it—creating a visual facsimile of a turning page, complete with transparency to see through to the words on the back of the page as you turn [ on]

iPhone/iPad e-book app review: Classics

By Chris Meadows
April 25, 2010 // 1 Comment

Classics ($2.99) was a great-looking iPhone app for its day. An extension of the “appbook” concept in which programmers took public-domain books, built an app framework around them, and sold them in the app store (see my review of the appbook of A Princess of Mars from this post), it bundled a [ on]

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