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Turning off the progress bar

Discussion in 'Literature' started by SlowRain, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. SlowRain

    SlowRain Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Oct 11, 2010
    a Canadian expat in Taiwan
    Fellow literature lovers, lend me your eyes.

    Have you ever wanted to make your reading experience more suspenseful? Try turning off the progress bar on your reading software. I'm serious. People reading a paper book know how far they are from the end at any given time, so they know the hero will survive the current situation until at least then. The same goes for those looking at the progress bar. However, what if you don't know how far away from the end you are? Any screen now the hero could be offed and you don't know.

    I first started doing this several years ago. I was reading Pleading Guilty by Scott Turow. One chapter was called Investigation Nears Its Climax (or something like that). I looked down and saw I was just over half-way through the book. I knew there would be no climax anytime soon, and that I should expect a twist. That foreknowledge reduced the impact of the twist.

    I also had a similar experience with the movie Minority Report. There was a point where it seemed like the movie was winding down and the climax had arrived, then a twist was introduced and the movie took off again. Had I known the runtime and been looking at my watch during the movie, I wouldn't have been so taken in. I really enjoyed that little experience.

    Having been brought up reading paper books, it seems only natural that we know how far we are into the book and how much we have left to go. It's the way we've always done it. But here is a unique opportunity for people who read e-books to enhance the experience, especially the suspense.

    It's a little difficult to get used to at first. I think I peaked a few times for the first couple of books I tried this with. But I like the feel now. It's very disorienting.

    The only time I turn on the progress bar is when I'm not enjoying a book. I do this to see how much is left. If there's only a little, I'll finish it off. If there's a lot, I give up and move on to something else. This is the only time I do it, and then I turn it off right away.

    Have you tried this? If so, what did you think? If not, I suggest giving it a try and post your thoughts. I make no guarantees that you'll enjoy it, but I do guarantee it'll throw you off balance when reading.


  2. NightAngel79

    NightAngel79 Bounty Hunter Administrator

    May 11, 2010
    Systems Administrator
    Northern Ky
    No progress bar in alDiko by default, lol. It's one of the things that bug me about it. I like to have a idea of how long a book is before I start.
    There has been times where not knowing has been a disappointment, especially with shorter books.
  3. Xyro

    Xyro 4 8 15 16 23 42

    Dec 1, 2009
    I'm certainly guilty of doing that. It does sound interesting to try, but unfortunately I can't turn the bar off on my eReader, as far as I know.

    I found it disconcerting enough when I switched to eBooks and could no longer judge a book's size (or page number - thanks Amazon), so maybe that's for the best :p

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