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Art and Design | Arts and Humanities


Paratextual aids to reading in medieval codex books, printed codex books, and Kindle ebooks are compared. Medieval scribes designed paratextual elements that enhanced diverse reading practices, from lectio divina to scholarly textual study. Printers adopted and standardized many elements of paratext, and contemporary readers depend on these elements to navigate printed books. Because familiar paratextual aids to reading are less visible in Kindle ebooks, readers find those ebooks harder to navigate. Development of effective ebook paratext must take into account the needs and practices of readers.


This is the author's post-print of an article forthcoming in Interdisciplinary Science Reviews in March 2015.

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