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>Flashcards, anyone?

>Galleycat, home of the tall hotties, led me to a London Times story about ICUE, a U.K. company that offers electronic books for your cellphone (yes, yours, not mine). Apparently, one way to get around the small screen size is to use an option in the software that flashes one. word. at. a. time onto the screen. According to the Times:

Books can be read in four ways: as autocue-style text moving from right to left across the screen, a scrollable text block moving up and down, single words flashed up in quick succession, or a full page of text. “Teenagers prefer reading one word at a time, but most adults prefer the horizontal scrolling style,” [ICUE cofounder Jane] Tappuni said.

I suppose reading one-word-at-a-time is analogous to listening to an audiobook, but the thought gives me the jitters. Has anyone here tried it?

Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.



  1. Anonymous says:

    >I not only read one word at a time, I walk one step at a time and you don’t even want to know how I put my pants on.

  2. Kelly Fineman says:

    >I think it’d be akin to learning to read as a child. So when you get a sentence that’s more than four or five words long, you can be so focused on the words that you can’t truly follow the story, sort of a case of not seeing forests for the trees.

  3. >Heaven

  4. Roger Sutton says:

    >I suppose if you can get the rate right it would be no different from watching a movie, in which you see only one frame at a time but your brain puts them together. I’m having trouble, uh, visualizing it, though. I wonder how I could find a site that offered a demonstration.

    Unlike Anonymouse, I don’t read a word at a time on the page. I scan, skip, notice words and paragraph formations that show up when I turn the page, and sort of loop down through a paragraph while I’m reading through it linearly. In my head it looks like a knitting diagram.

  5. rindawriter says:

    >Whew! Somebody scans and skips like me; I thought I was the only one….although, alas, it never ends up looking like a knitting pattern for me…more like a huge, very jumbled messsy warehouse…in which I sometimes can’t find what I read or even was looking for…probably it’s best that I do have a private reading room…

    I thought the phone thing would work very well as a poetry exercise though…

  6. >I’d be willing to bet that the one. word. at. a. time. mode. scrolls even more slowly than a 300-baud modem. Back in the ’80s, that’s what CompuServe ran at. I could read faster than the messages scrolled across the screen of my 40-column, 7-line Radio Shack Model 100.

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