My interview with Cory Doctorow for SFGate.com has just been published. Take a look!
It would make me pretty happy if this book contributed in some way to the idea that reading books on the screen is good. I know that there’s a meme that floats around that says, oh, reading off a screen is hard, and no one wants to do it and so on — despite all the evidence to the contrary. Most of the people I know read off a screen for 12 hours a day.
I’m with him on screen reading – I have no problem with it and always wonder what the hubbub is about short paragraphs, etc. I’m just as happy to read a long article online in my comfy chair with headphones as I am in an armchair in the living room. And I’d rather have a bookmark than another stack of dead trees to recycle.
Maybe part of the problem is that Windows has always had such bad font rendering – if everyone used a Mac, maybe more people would be happy to read online. That problem is going away in more recent versions of Windows.
Multi-column PDF files, however, are excruiciatingly painful to read online. The HTML version of “Down & Out” is peachy, but the “printable” PDF is two-column (even though it will open up on-screen). So I saved the HTML to my laptop to read on the plane…
There’s also the matter of glare. The “hot” white background can be tiring on the eyes. A site like http://textism.com/ designed by a fellow with a real feel for typography and the traditions of print design goes a long way toward softening the phosphors.