Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Paper-based Reading versus the Other Process.

I forgive you if you're thinking what an old has-been topic this is. For you, maybe it is. Some of my readers continue to live in a present where Kindles are little used because paperbacks are readily available, for 50 cents, at every yard, garage and op shop sale.

A 50 cent paperback, one of my very
small collection of novels (5) using the actions of
fungi as their premise.

I've read half a dozen novels on online/offline on computer screens, but finished my first Kindle-formatted novel last night. Or maybe it was formatted idiosyncratically. Probably I shouldn't judge Kindle by this one representative.

Though I will trick Monster-Moored out with page numbers when I am that far.

The Kindle experience gave me no page numbers. Instead the Kindle-program (on my iPad) recorded my reading progress with percentages, and estimates as to how long it would take me to finish. For example about 80% through, it gave me 1 hour 33 minutes.

Of course I started wondering how many algorithms the software had beavering away just under surface of words and sentences. What multiples of readers did the mythic makers base the hourly rate on? How many words per minute did the readers average out on? Did the program adjust itself to my reading speed? Were the two formula related? Well, they had to be, probably. If it was that smart, why didn't it just read the book for me?

In other words, I went into story-making land. Ideas are everywhere.

Yes, I was totally out of the story. Not a gripping read was a large part of the problem but that is the topic for another post.

Part of me not being able to get involved was the problem of not knowing the length of the story. If the read is 40k, I'll organise a bit of time and read it in one sitting. If the book is 100k it's obviously necessary to read it over a number of sessions.

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