A Brief History of the page overall message is that the reader cannot dictate the pace of what they read. Of course, the reader can read fast or slow, but cannot configure when or where they get the message. There is a power struggle between the reader and the page because the page has more power over the text. The reader is always on the page’s time because the numbers controls us. The page dictates where we start and where we finish.
Pages are used to limit the reader from where, how, and when the reader receives the information. Alberto Manguel states, “The page limits, cuts, extends, censors, reshapes, translates, stresses, defuses, bridges, and separates our reading, which we arduously attempt to reclaim.” (pg120) No matter what the reader does, the page is our master. We cannot escape the box in which the page puts us in. The page organizes the text and the reader cannot interfere with the organization no matter what he or she does.
Pages are a gift and a curse for its readers. Alberto Manguel states, “In one nightmarish moment, the page in all its glory and all its horror: as an object that allows or demands a frame for the text it contains so that we, the readers, can address it piecemeal and inquire into its meaning; and also as an object that restricts the text to fit its frame, cutting it down to size, separating it from its whole, changing or circumscribing its sense.” (pg121) Pages allow the reader to analyze the text piece by piece. Also pages give the reader reference points to help them back their assumptions and perceptions. Pages allow us to separate that way we can understand the text as a whole in the end. However, pages also restrict the text so that the text fits on the page. The page limits our reading. The page forces us to read the story piece by piece in order to get the bigger picture. We cannot pick up a book and read the end to understand the entire story. The page limits the reader understanding and does not give you too much at once.
Pages have unique characteristics to fit the style of the author. The author constructs the page to convey their message in their own way. According to Alberto Manguel, “Whether through shape, interior space, marginalia, or reshuffling, the page’s characteristics were to be constantly altered.” (pg.122) The author’s did this to try to take back the power of the pages. The authors would do use various techniques in order to establish power. The author would use these techniques to give the power back to the text. Some authors would change the format of the text. Some authors would change the shape of the book. By doing this the author gains some of the power back from the pages.
One thing I did not understand is what one accomplishes by eliminating the first page of a book. I understand that it removes the power of the pages, but doesn’t it also limit the reader. We all read for understanding. Removing the beginning confuses the reader and sends them on a quest with no map.
Another thing that I do not understand is the history including the Sumerian tablets. I do not think that this information was important and did not add to the article. The history seemed kind of out of place and confused me.
Question: Has E-books removed the power of pages completely, and have completely given the power to the reader and author?