News – 1) Amazon creates a way for you to ask questions of the author while you’re reading the author’s book. Click here for Amazon Daily Post announcement and here for more details from Amazon. Matthew Ingram at GigaOM says this is the latest in Amazon’s moves to disintermediate traditional publishers. 2) There’s a new Kindle format in town. It’s called Print Replica, and it’s like a PDF with all the usual Kindle enhancements, like highlights, notes, and lookup. Click here for Nate’s commentary at The Digital Reader.
Tech Tip – Do you have scores of pages in your Kindle Archive? You can navigate the list on your Kindle by typing a single letter with the cursor anywhere on the screen. The letter will show up in the search area along with “click to go to the [letter] titles” or authors, depending on how you are sorting the archived items. It’s a handy way to get to a particular book in your archive from the Kindle.
Interview (starts at 2:19) – Jane Brox is the author of four books, the most recent of which is Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light. Her July 10, 2011, article, “Illuminating Texts,” in The Boston Globe was an insightful look back at how reading fundamentally changed when printed books replaced manuscripts. I reached her by Skype and phone on August 31, 2011, in Brunswick, Maine, in hopes of learning from the history of reading some ideas that might apply to the current changes in the transition to digital reading. Click here for a column Jane wrote about reading in The Huffington Post. Jane has the distinction of being my first interview guest who has never even picked up a Kindle to try one out. No matter, we had a great conversation, and when I learn that she’s bought a Kindle I’ll know the revolution is accomplished!
Links Mentioned in Comments – Eolake Stobblehouse’s suite of blogs and a comment on screen brightness by a Ph.D in Physics. A questionable bit of research noted by Bob Anderson. Karen Wheless notes Amazon’s romance imprint. Lorraine Little on Barry Eisler