E-books vs. Paper Format Pt.2

I’ve read some Neil Gaiman  and J G Ballard  and even The Strange Life of Ivan Oskin by P D Ouspensky on my Kindle recently. All novels that I had failed to procure in paperback and that make hard-going when read on an e-book. The Ouspensky, for example, is chock-full of time-flips. While Gaiman’s dense plotting and Ballard’s imagery rich in detail and twist, makes nonsense on the e-book. Mainly due to it’s insistence on a percentaged progress bar. Just where is 11% of Neverwhere? I don’t know. I think that many novels and books generally defy being read from 0% to 100% with no real pauses nor back-tracking possible.

It is possible to go back one screen at the flick of a button. But try to go back say 5 pages to check some seemingly innocuous dialogue and you’ll soon discover that pages are not the same as screens. In fact, where a screen starts or ends on a page randomly changes with each back-flick. Which page is 11% of Neverwhere? I don’t know.

Meanwhile I’ve been reading Philip K Dick’s Ubik in traditional paperback format, like someone degenerating back to the twentieth century. An experience I wouldn’t care to update to a kindle at any cost. Next I’ve been offered the loan of a Michael Moorcock paperback, which I’m looking forward to. And right now I’m drifting through the dreamy arabesques of Steve Moore’s Somnium in a beautiful limited edition hardback from Strange Attractor Press, borrowed from a friend.

I fancy getting my hands on The Book of Baphomet by Julian Vayne and Nikki Wyrd, published by Mandrake Press. I think.

View part one by following this link

Bella Basura
May 2012

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