Does Size Matter?

Reading & Writing

Google’s deal to make a vast amount of out-of-print material available online is coming into effect in the USA. Works from the US, Britain, Canada and Australia will be used, but under the proposals about 95 per cent of non-US books won’t be covered. Although the service will be available only in the US, Google said that it will expand to other countries. Google has already copied ten million books, seven million of which were out of print.
I think most of us are happy about this – it’s a way of defusing the chaos that has befallen the film industry, where piracy, release dates, region coding and digitisation have created a hopeless mess. Paper books should sit happily beside online works, and seem set to maintain their more glamourous image – but when one of the arguments for eReading is the saving of space, why do publishers insist on the airport format, ridiculous paving-stone sized volumes that are impossible to hold up?

3 comments on “Does Size Matter?”

  1. I.A.M. says:

    Larger cover sizes of books are impressive! They excite! They say ‘look at me reading this book; I’m a thinky person!” They also distract from the increasing cover price.

    Also airports, from necessity, are vast expanses of empty space. In order to get your money they need to catch your eye from a 300 metre distance, ergo the larger cover.

  2. Helen Martin says:

    I assume we’re talking paperbacks here. The small-small sized ones are impossible to keep open if they’re more than 100 pages while the large format ones usually have larger type and/or more white space, which is helpful to those of us whose eyes are aging noticeably. They’re easier to read in moving vehicles of all sorts, too. This is an on-going argument. Let’s have lots of choice with, I suppose, varying prices. I know publishers can’t produce a variety of sizes for a single title, but two sizes should indicate quickly which size suits your genre. (Ducks behind steel wall to wait out the irate assault.)

  3. Oldies Lover says:

    Buying the Kindle is the best thing I have ever done for my reading. It was easy to learn my way around it; it operates very easily and I am reading far more than ever before.

    I take my Kindle everywhere with me – just throw it in my purse and it’s there for me if I stop somewhere for a cup of coffee while shopping or if I’m waiting for an appointment. I even take it to the movies and read while I’m waiting for the picture to start.

    We travel a lot and always used to take three or four hard cover books with us, taking up much space in our suitcases. Now all the books I might want for any length vacation are available on my Kindle.

    My husband was so impressed with mine that he bought one two days later and enjoys it as much as I do.

    Get one! You won’t be disappointed.

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