I am struck by how closely the dimensions of the 7th century Stonyhurst Gospel (now renamed as St. Cuthbert’s Gospel of St. John) match the screen size of the Sony Portable Reader System PRS-505. On the left is a model of the Gospel, which is described in the literature as being 134-138mm high, and 90-95mm wide (1:1.49). The screen of the Sony Reader is 124mm high and 92mm wide (1:1.35). Coincidence? Perhaps. But might their dimensions relate to our hand size or comfortable handheld viewing range? These books are separated by 13 centuries!
I played with the Sony last weekend at the Small Press Fair in NYC. I was impressed by the resolution of the eink at any viewing angle, but page turns were agonizingly slow, and accompanied by an epeliptic inducing flash of background reversal– the text would go white, and the “page” black for a split second. I also tried out a prototype of the next version, which has a touch screen interface, but doubt this would be a great advantage when reading.There is a promotion on now at Sony– enter promo code: 10sonyclassic You can get 10 free ebooks to read on your computer or ebook reader from the “classics” collection– think 19th C. standard DWM’s.
I think the Stonyhurst needs a tagline too. How about “The Stonyhurst: Carry the Gospel of St. John in one hand.”