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E-books: does @page99 approach still work?

21 Apr

I have borrowed several e-books from the local library. It just occurred to me that @Page99 here depends on reader choices. It is thus dependent on such vagaries as:
– size of screen on the device used for reading
– screen orientation: portrait vs landscape
– font size chosen.

My choice is the book I am currently enjoying

“How we invented freedom & why it matters”

by Daniel Hannan.

It has won Paddy Power’s Political Book Awards Polemic of the Year in March 2014 so my views are clearly shared wider. I hasten to add that I do not share Mr Hannan’s political views but I am impressed with his well argued case.

First, finding a page number at all is difficult. In OverDrive (Adobe software used by our lending library) I can see in the summary how many pages I have seen. Every look at a page is counted- thus ‘pages viewed’ counter is of little use. Pages are numbered at the bottom starting with 1 for each chapter. So that counter is not accurate either.

Then it occurred to me to look at the back of the book into the Index. Sure enough I found there a name on p.99.

Page 99 deals with the Norman Conquest battles of 1066. It contains a story of King Harold and his brothers who fought Norman invaders lead by William, later King William I. This page captures the battle that led to crucial changes in England – it was not just that one King was replaced by another but a whole ruling aristocratic layer was also replaced by the knights loyal to new Norman king. What is more, and it is the heart of this book, the next section in this Chapter being THE ROOTS OF OUR RIGHTS.

This page thus depicts one of the crucial events in English history. It could not be more symbolic. The page is at the beginning of the section Yet it introduces what became the turning point in English history and the central tenet of the book as depicted on the book sleeve, which states

This book tells the story of freedom and explains how it is a uniquely ‘British’, rather than ‘Western’ invention.

what is slowing down the progress

5 Feb

This is a long overdue post. Motivation where are you? Even a 10 day holiday in sunny Madeira has not got the batteries fully recharged. So, another tack is required.

First, looking for other options. I see at least two polarities at play:

time vs added value: where I limit the time to be spent at reading the chosen book to that necessary to produce a good review that adds value to the readers. If it is true that Bill Clinton reads 1,200 words per minute, I should have no problems at less than half that rate. Then again, it could all just be made up like the myth created by John F. Kennedy in an interview with Time Magazine, who quoted the same figure, only later to admit it privately that this was a pure invention. Perhaps the real ‘value-added’ would be in such nuggets being made available to wider public.

laboratory vs theory: where rather than trying to be ‘perfect’ I go ahead with using the initially found template. The only addition will be with academic texts, where I will add also some of the points from academic reviews.

Perhaps these simple steps will remove the feeling of pressure that sits over me as I finally get the FIRST REVIEW on the site!

OK, where are you?