This is exciting. Technology fulfilling its promise to enhance quality of life instead of the latest gimmick to first seduce, then overwhelm and, frustrate.
Howard Hill in The Guardian writes about how the Iphone has opened up a world of books to him:
Books which would have been part of many a youthful literary diet had passed me by. Alice in Wonderland, Treasure Island, Tom Sawyer – I hadn’t read any of them (but I have now).
The first title I selected was The Count of Monte Cristo. I raced through this on my iPhone in just over a week, my wife asking why I was continually playing with my iPhone. When I’d finished I enjoyed the story so much that I went to buy a copy for a friend. In the bookshop I was amazed. It was more than 1,000 pages!
I’d have thought that the smaller reading space would make reading longer works more tedious. But John Stein, Professor of Neuroscience at Oxford University and chair of the Dyslexia Research Trust explains that the iphone has more space between lines and presents fewer words at a time, which eases the crowding effect that creates confusion for people with dyslexia.
More from Hill:
I was so impressed that I contacted the Dyslexia Society, where Sue Flohr, herself dyslexic, recounted how her iPhone had changed her life. She told me that many others share my experience reading books and the society is in talks with the government over making school textbooks available as eBooks. Flohr said that her iPhone has not only brought greater organisation to her life, it has greatly improved her sense of self-esteem. I share this sense and now see that when I proudly show off my iPhone to others it is not just a new bit of technology, but the centrepoint of my newly ordered life.
I don’t have dyslexia, but I am a slow reader because of the experience that Hill recounts of reading a sentence which sparks off thoughts and causes me to lose my place. I love it when a book is so magnificent that it overcomes all thoughts and analysis of craft to make me lose myself in it. Would that happen more often if I were to read on an Iphone?