The Magic of Reading

Back in 1999, when I was working on eBooks, I researched and wrote a detailed paper on reading – especially on the screen.

It’s called The Magic of Reading, and is still available out there on the Web as a free eBook download from Slate magazine, in Microsoft Reader format. You can download both the book and the Reader software from here:

It’s also archived at the Poynter Institute in Microsoft Word format:

I’m told Bill Gates said it was “a good read”…

8 thoughts on “The Magic of Reading

  1. Bill Hill

    Well, I don’t know how you’re trying to read it, or what printer you’re using, but as the document said – quite clearly – it wasn’t formatted to be read on a screen. It was written in days long gone, when we were just beginning to think about how to make text readable on a screen – pre-ClearType in Windows, for example. Word didn’t get a “screen reading” view until 2003. The document was created in 1999. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Word onscreen reading view was horrible – in fact, I’d be stunned if it wasn’t.It always printed very well in the past.I’m interested to see what you’re seeing – can you send me a screen shot?

  2. Bill Hill

    That’s very true. I plead guilty to not using styles. I could hardly type fast enough to keep up with the stream of thinking and I just whacked it down. I was completely focused on the content, not the formatting.Wouldn’t do it that way today…

  3. Nevada

    Thanks for sharing the updated link Bill. I plan on giving this a thorough read this week.I really enjoyed the interview you did with Rob Conery on the This Developer's Life podcast.


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