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I love to read, however I can't seem to get
comfortable reading on a screen for some
reason, so I'll likely be stuck with paper for
the years to come.
While paper books have some great
aspects such as easy annotation and "book
smell", one thing has oftentimes bothered
me in my literary
indulgences: the fact that
the turned pages of a book are much like
a progress bar on a computer... They tell
you how close you are to the end!
This may be a useful thing if you're
wading through a textbook, and trying to
organize your time so as to study the
book's material. However, in the case of a
novel, particularly one with some element
of suspense, the knowledge that the story
may end precipitously at any time would
add a definite edge-of-the-seat sensation
to an otherwise more predictable reading
One could implement this idea by various
means. For instance, add bogus pages in
the end, so the reader which - in a
moment of weakness - flicked through the
remainder of the book, couldn't see where
it ends. This may be a bit complicated,
since those pages would have to fool the
reader at least at first sight as being part
of the story.
Perhaps it would be easier (albeit slightly
more uncomfortable for the reader) to
jumble up the order of the chapters,
indicating the starting page number of
each chapter at the end of the preceding
one. Any normally constituted person
would probably not be able to keep track
of the reading progress.
One Page Novel Idea
One Page Novel Idea
Prior art - same problem, different solution. [zen_tom, Jan 29 2007]
||//add bogus pages in the end//
||My brother was telling me about a book that does exactly that. It was some kind of theoretical mathematics book which, like some of Plato's work, had two characters discussing a particular puzzlement in depth. Near the middle of the book they discuss your point, how you always know when the book is going to end with a big climax, and you know exactly what is coming. They discuss the neccessity to include fake pages that were nevertheless likely enough to be in the last portion of the book.
||Or at least along those lines, he *was* telling me in the pub. [Tommy?]
||Yes. Needless to say, this topic is discussed elsewhere (both in the book I was waxing lyrical on) and here in the bakery.
||So two characters in a theoretical
mathematics book had the idea before
me... Happens to me all the time! :-P
(Do you have a reference?)
||I'm not sure I understand your argument
that it's the same as the One Page Novel
||//Do you have a reference?// Yes - not only a reference, but a reccomendation; Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, by Douglas R. Hofstadter.
||Computer books with a scroll bar will have the same problem, so some interface will be needed to prevent front-to-back measurement.
||//Prior art - same problem, different
solution. // Sorry to nitpick, but it's hardly
the same problem. In this case I'm
suggesting ways to end *any* book
unexpectedly. The one page novel is a
rather special type of book that doesn't
exhibit this problem because of its circular
(and probably confusing) storyline.
||Thanks for the recommendation!
||Could the problem be alleviated by subtitling all books as "Vol 1 of the Epic trilogy" (well, apart from if they are Volumes 2 or 3 of an epic trilogy, in which case they'd have to be subtitled as 'Volumes 2 & 3 of a Classic Series in Four Exciting Episodes'), then you'd never know whether you were getting close to the end or not.
||//Sorry to nitpick, but it's hardly the same problem.// I was going to nitpick your nitpick, but it turns out, you're right. The problem here is, "How do you avoid external cues (i.e. the physicality of a book) from seeping into the realm of the narrative." - I just reread [FarmerJohn]'s idea - and you're quite right - it is a different problem entirely! I think I must have been swayed by [beauxeault] and [snarfguy]'s early annotations on the idea.
||//external queues// ??? - are they waiting to get in? (or did you mean "cues"?)
||Yes, for example, it can be difficult to determine whether a windowless fish-and-chip shop is full or not, without taking stock of any external queues that might be snaking down the street. (Providing an observer with the information that an order for a chip and cheese bap at this particular establishment might take a little longer than usual)
||The book should be cylindrical, with the binding in the center.