Jon Bell has a good article on scrolling vs. «page flips». I have seen far too many «we don’t need pages anymore, since screens are windows to an infinite two-dimensional space» essays recently. Jon quotes Kottke:
The page flipping animation in the iBooks app though? Super cheesy. It’s like in the early days of cars where they built them to look like horse-drawn carriages. Can’t we just scroll?
I may be missing something, but I honestly don’t understand this. How is scrolling desirable to the person who is trying to read a book? If I’m reading a book, I want to fill the screen with text. Then, I want to read that text. Then, I want to fill the whole screen with new text, and read that.
What I don’t want do to is read text, then spend a second manually scrolling until new text fills the screen, while keeping track of where exactly I have to continue reading.
What does scrolling gain me, except more work?
Dragging through thousands of words of prose isn’t skimming, isn’t navigation… it’s laborious. You’re paginating by hand.
When I’m reading a book, I like to be absorbed into it. Any distraction which takes me away from the book, no matter how small, is unwelcome. Scrolling down the page with a flick of the finger is, frankly, too much effort.
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