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Designing for Digital Reading by Harold Thimbleby, George Buchanan, Jennifer Pearson

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CHAPTER 2

Reading Through the Ages

This chapter reviews the history of reading to demonstrate how changes in technology have influenced how people read, and show that how reading material is produced is a really interesting story. This history forms the backdrop for everything in the present book.

From the earliest marks on rocks and stone tablets to the current eReader devices, there have been centuries of change, and the introduction of different tools and techniques for helping the reader. Some of the inventions were deliberate and systematic, but tools have also emerged out of experience and chance. Most interesting is how reading styles, and active reading—the engagement of the reader with the written word—have developed with and driven ...

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