It felt like a rare opportunity to innovate in print, so he jumped at it.
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Green said. The mini versions of Mr. Dutton and Mr. Green are hoping that younger readers from a generation that grew up with the internet and smartphones might be receptive to the concept of a miniature flipbook.
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The whole problem with reading on a phone is that my phone also does so many other things. Over the centuries, publishers have experimented with smaller paperback books, occasionally with great success. In , Pocket Books introduced pocket-size mass-market paperbacks in the United States, and sold them in department stores, newsstands and drugstores around the country. During World War II, an effort to arm American troops with books gave rise to Armed Services Editions , miniature paperbacks that troops carried with them, which helped create a new audience for mass-market paperbacks.
But in the last few decades, most of the pivotal advances in publishing have been digital, with the evolution of e-books and digital audio. Recently, some publishers have tried shrinking print books as a way to repackage older backlist titles, in an effort to entice readers to buy new editions of books they already know and love, and own. The form was so popular with independent booksellers that Picador decided to publish another collection in — of nonfiction titles by Hilary Mantel, Susan Sontag, Joan Didion and Barbara Ehrenreich — and is planning to release more next fall.
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Strauss-Gabel began her mission to import flipbacks to America this year, when she received Dutch editions of two of Mr. She was startled by their size and ingenious design — the spine operates like a hinge that swings open, making it easier to turn the pages. She contacted the Dutch printer, Royal Jongbloed, and asked if Dutton could become partners with the company to print English editions. Jongbloed, which was founded in as a bookshop and later became a Bible printer, created the flipback format in , and quickly realized there was a wide audience for compact, portable books.
They have since released titles in the Netherlands alone, including works by Mr. But getting English flipback editions of Mr.
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Jongbloed is currently the only printer in the world that makes them, using ultrathin but durable paper from a mill in a village in Finland. Stanford University researchers have found that close literary reading in particular gives your brain a workout in multiple complex cognitive functions, while pleasure reading increases blood flow to different areas of the brain. They concluded that reading a novel closely for literary study and thinking about its value is an effective brain exercise, more effective than simple pleasure reading alone.
Want to really give your brain a workout? Pick up a foreign language novel. Researchers at Lund University in Sweden tested students from the Swedish Armed Forces Interpreter Academy, where intensive language learning is the norm, and medicine and cognitive science students at Umea University.
Both groups underwent brain scans just prior to and right after a three-month period of intensive study. Amazingly, the language students experienced brain growth in both the hippocampus and the cerebral cortex, with different levels of brain growth according to the amount of effort and learning students experienced in that period of time. If you're used to reading paper books, picking up an e-reader can feel very awkward at first. But experts insist that your brain can adopt the new technology quickly, no matter your age or how long you've been reading on paper.
In fact, the human brain adapts to new technology, including e-reading, within seven days.
Although your brain can adapt to e-books quickly, that doesn't mean they offer the same benefits as a paperback. Specifically, they lack what's called "spatial navigability," physical cues like the heft of pages left to read that give us a sense of location.
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Evolution has shaped our minds to rely on location cues to find our way around, and without them, we can be left feeling a little lost. Some e-books offer little in the way of spatial landmarks, giving a sense of an infinite page. However, with page numbers, percentage read, and other physical cues, e-books can come close to the same physical experience as a paper book. Stories have a beginning, middle, and end, and that's a good thing for your brain.
With this structure, our brains are encouraged to think in sequence, linking cause and effect.
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The more you read, the more your brain is able to adapt to this line of thinking. Neuroscientists encourage parents to take this knowledge and use it for children, reading to kids as much as possible. In doing so, you'll be instilling story structure in young minds while the brain has more plasticity, and the capacity to expand their attention span. Not everyone is a natural reader. Poor readers may not truly understand the joy of literature, but they can be trained to become better readers. And in this training, their brains actually change. In a six-month daily reading program from Carnegie Mellon, scientists discovered that the volume of white matter in the language area of the brain actually increased.
Further, they showed that brain structure can be improved with this training, making it more important than ever to adopt a healthy love of reading. It feels great to lose yourself in a book, and doing so can even physically change your brain. As we let go of the emotional and mental chatter found in the real world, we enjoy deep reading that allows us to feel what the characters in a story feel.
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And this in turn makes us more empathetic to people in real life, becoming more aware and alert to the lives of others. Click above to view full image!