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 From Now On
The Educational Technology Journal

Vol 9|No 7|March|2000













We can take our books to bed, to the beach and to the park without much worry. Paperbacks, in particular, are extremely portable, being light weight, soft and flexible. They are easily slipped into a bag, a picnic basket or even a pocket.

One curls up with a book, but rarely a laptop. The smaller, light weight notebook computers are closing the portability gap, but we still have a long way to go.

On the airplane last week, I watched a woman using an electronic book display unit to read a novel as I wrote this article on my laptop. She was a fan. She was convinced of their value. She pointed out how the lighted screen made an overhead light unnecessary. She could carry the equivalent of six books on her wonderful little unit.

But choice? She indicated that there are still limits to what titles are available digitally. The wave of the future? We shall see . . .

And viewability? A few paragraphs at a time with short lines of text.

This little device may work fine for novels and light reading but has severe limitations when it comes to reading weightier material requiring gliding eye movement, scanning and searching across many pages and paragraphs.

Perhaps we will slide into bed with a good electronic novel displayed on a leather bound slim-line reader some day soon, but that time remains distant for most of us.



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