Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Finger on the page

iPads and other touch-screen devices have reconnected our fingers with reading matter after a period when we found it difficult to interact with vertical displays by touch. And touching what you are reading has a long history – of tracing the line of text when reading with a child, or pointing to the relevant place in the liturgy for the celebrant to read from, or simply trying to keep your place. Mike Esbester’s photograph of timetable readers not only touching, but reconfiguring their entire stance to read a text (short-sightedness? sciatica?) is a charming reminder of our need to get physical with text.

Esbester, M. ‘Nineteenth-century timetables and the history of reading’, Book History, 12 (2009), 156–85

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