Saturday, March 26, 2011

WTF is this?

What would I think of a book when I grow up in a world where all reading is done on an electronic device? I'm trying to imagine how I might perceive the book if I've never experienced one, if every book I ever read was on a dedicated reader or a tablet or other device. I mean, I would be able to read. I'd know what words are, but I've just never seen a story printed on paper and bound into a book.

(I think it might go a little something like this...)

I tap the cover of The Grouchy Ladybug, but nothing happens. Tap. Tap. Tap. Poke. Poke. Poke Poke PokePokePokePokePoke. I pinch and spread, pinch and spread. The ladybug doesn't talk or move or offer me a discount coupon for Doritos or say my name. The colors are bright, but I like my screen brighter. But I don't see any settings to change to increase the brightness. The picture throws off some glare and isn't as easy to read as my reader with the latest electronic ink firmware.

The text on the back doesn't resize not matter what I try. I slide my finger across the front over and over and over, but the picture never advances to a new screen. This sucks.

I pull open the front board and tear the thin covering and it goes "Shhhrrrrtt" as it rips. The covering has the same picture on it as the hard board underneath. What the hell is that about?

I finally get the board up by lifting it. It's hinged and it swings open like door which is pretty simple.

Now the sliding works. I can slide across a picture to advance the screen. But there's no control and I seem to jump ahead too far. Did you ever play Poker? With real cards like in Las Vegas? That's what you have to do to get these things to move. Like fanning a deck of cards, you have to use your index finger and thumb to separate the sheets to move them one at a time.

Again, nothing works. No tapping, spreading, swiping.

And holy crap! What is this? There are sheets that aren't even the same size. The sheets get bigger and bigger in sequence and they have tiny analog clocks up on top like that retro clock app that everyone has. There is stuff on both sides of the sheets. Some full-colored artwork on one side and text on the other.

And as I advance the pages, the text is now getting really big. How the hell did that happen? There's a picture of an elephant and the text is really big, and then next to a picture of a whale, the text is really, really huge. Like the text adjusts itself to match the art. That seems really cool. I wonder how they did that.

Okay, I finally figured this out. Flip. Flip. Forward. Reverse. The pages change as fast as I can flip with no lag between images. I'm not sure what the processor is, but it's fast.

This thing's pretty interesting, but I don't see any way to turn it off. It will probably turn itself off when the battery gets low.

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