Monday, January 07, 2013

The Captive Reader

On the plane, I found out I could not access the book I had downloaded onto my IPAD. So instead I read THE NEW YORKER on the IPAD, cover to cover. I have never done this before. Usually, I read the book and movie reviews, perhaps the short story, and perhaps an article. But on a five hour flight, I had time to read it all. And I have to say, THE NEW YORKER just cannot be matched by any magazine for the depth and breadth of its coverage. I read an article about a talented pick-pocket, an article about Mary Renault's affect on a gay teenager, a review of the new Thornton Wilder bio, a movie review, a new short story and a few other pieces.

One thing that made a difference to me was the font was much larger than the font in the print magazine. Even years ago, I found the font size in TNY difficult. On the Ipad it was a joy to read.

Are you influences by font size? Have you ever been held captive and read something you might not have ordinarily? 

15 comments:

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

In a book I usually prefer a font size bigger than 12 which is what I use in MS-Word. Many of the early paperbacks have small typefaces, say, 9 and below, and very little space between the lines. I read them in the absense of better quality editions.

I never meant to read Harry Potter soon but when I did I couldn't stop until I had read the top five in a row, though I read book six only last year while book seven still remains to be read. Too many deaths in that one has sort of put me off the book for a while. JKR has raised Harry Potter in hell.

Deb said...

As long as I have my 2.5X magnifying reading glasses handy, I'm ready to read on any medium! I do find that since I got an i-phone with internet access, I read a lot more long-form non-fiction on-line--although I hate the articles that make you reload page after page without a "view as one page" option. I think it was in the New Yorker last week that I read a story about Tyler Clementi, the gay teenager who committed suicide after his college roommate secretly videotaped him (Tyler) and another man together. Such senseless tragedy. Going from tragedy to comedy (of a sort), yesterday I read an article in Vanity Fair about a prostitution scandal that is tearing up the quiet town (and nearby Bush-family retreat) of Kennebunk, Maine. Since I do not have subscriptions to either TNY or VF, these are articles I probably would not have read without my phone--I love the compact convenience of it. For whatever reason, I find I still like the physical feeling of a book when I'm reading fiction, but for non-fiction, I'm beginning to let go of paper.

Brian Lindenmuth said...

I will say this. There is a part of me that misses magazines. We had a lot of magazine subscriptions at our house: music (Rolling Stone, Spin, Huh, No Depression), entertainment (Us Weekly, Entertainment Weekly), sports (Golf Digest), news, politics, misc. (Time, People, Life). Then there was the fashion, women's, and men's magazine that I can remember. Plus all of the miscellaneous ones I can't remember either.

We got a lot of magazines and, I can't speak for the other members of the family, but I dipped into them all.

I went to a catholic high school and if you didn't have a class for the last period you had to be somewhere. I would always grab a seat in the library by the magazines and just randomly read from them.

Even today we get put on the odd subscribers list (Vibe and Parents) and I read them.

Magazines were, in some respects more then books, my glimpse into the larger world when I was younger. And as much as I love the internet I do find myself missing magazines sometimes.

Al Tucher said...

I was once trapped in a hotel room with Jude the Obscure, which became my nominee for the Worst Novel Ever Written prize. It still holds the title.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I don't need to miss magazines because at the new prices, we subscribe to more than ever. Perhaps as many as 20 at last count.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Jude the Obscure was the single most depressing book I have ever finished. And that after Hardy's Tess which gets second place.

Al Tucher said...

I've never been incarcerated with Tess!

Richard R. said...

We have a desktop Mac, a laptop Mac and two iPhones. I don't read on any of them, I just don't like reading on a screen. If (when?) I get an iPad I'll try it, but not before. At that point we'll probably subscribe to Next Issue. We take several magazines, quilting ones, Sports Illustrated, a car one, MacWorld, Wired. Besides blogs I read New York times and Washington Post in bits and pieces and we take the local newspaper, The Oregonian, which is pretty provincial. I subscribe to several e-newsletters as well.

On a plane, in a waiting room, etc. I have a paperback book with me.

Charles Gramlich said...

Font size is a definite influence these days. I saw a web comic I wanted to read the other day but simple couldn't get it big enough to be viewable for me.

pattinase (abbott) said...

One of the best things about the ebook revolution is the ability to make font readable.

pattinase (abbott) said...

One of the best things about the ebook revolution is the ability to make font readable.

Chris said...

Between books, magazines, the internet, and aps on my phone and iPad from outfits like Byliner and The Atavist, I find my reading constant and all over the place. I think it is a fantastic time to be a reader.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I agree, Chris. And I watched a twelve year old in a restaurant read right through dinner tonight. Her Dad seemed please to allow it.

Ron Scheer said...

The LA WEEKLY has the tiniest print of anything in print outside of the Lord's Prayer inscribed on a kernel of rice. I learned to read that newspaper, and anything seems comfortably large by comparison. What I can't get myself to read are large print books, and the westerns at the local library are almost all large print.

I pick up the The New Yorker for the cartoons, but it sucks me if I my guard is down. Most recently I read the essay on lgbt homeless kids in New York. Then there's a url at the end with a video online. They get you coming and going.

When Pauline Kael was writing movie reviews (that dates me) I never missed a single one.

Anonymous said...

Patti, somehow I missed this post when it was first up. I was backtracking looking for a book review and noticed it.

Anyway, though I have subscribed to many magazines over the years I must admit that I've found it liberating letting them go one by one. They did tend to pile up and if you don't keep on top of them.... Most of the stuff I still get is in the mystery genre. I've never read The New Yorker though over the years I have read tons of stuff that came out of it.

Yes, font size definitely affects me. But so does the type of font, thickness and darkness of print, etc. If the type is clear and dark I find it easier to deal with than slightly larger print that is lighter and harder on these aging eyes.

Yes I prefer a "real" book but I like having 50+ books of short stories on the Kindle. I can take it anywhere and it is easy to read a story where carrying a 500 page hardback can be a hassle.

This will be the first year having it in Florida and I plan to take a lot fewer than the 20 or so books I usually drag with me. The beauty part is, I will no longer be stuck with just the 20 I have. By the time I get down to the last few I sometimes feel like read something else. Now I'll have 200 to choose from.

Jeff M.