Sunday, October 16

Progress Marches On!

Complementary spouse Britt Shirley and I visited Borders yesterday. That's where I spotted a Stuart Woods paperback with the following verbiage: "Specially designed for comfortable reading."

What? How were all previous books NOT designed for comfortable reading? I mean, it's not like all other paperbacks were encased in barbed wire or coated in a thin layer of flesh-eating acid. This book didn't look any different than any other paperback on the shelf: it was approximately the same size, shape and weight as all its neighbors. Inside, it looked like an ordinary paperback too: no special typefaces or explanatory diagrams to help readers.

If a book touts itself as being "designed for comfortable reading," then it should be designed for more reading. What would that entail? I don't know. What about a helium-filled chamber in the spine of heavier books, making them easier to hold up? Or notes telling you when you can skip over certain passages: that would have been very helpful toward the end of "Atlas Shrugged," when one of the main characters delivers a painfully long speech that could have been boiled down to just two words: "capitalism rocks." How about built in coasters for those impressive looking books you buy to adorn your coffee table, not to read? Built-in inflatable neck pillows for books so boring they put you to sleep?

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