Standing on my head to read

I am doing some “reading around” for my first Future Learn MOOC, The Secret Power of Brands. The book is by Debbie Millman and is called  “Look Both Ways: Illustrated Essays on the Intersection of Life and Design“. I got the Kindle version but am reading it on Kindle for PC. The reason for this is that the book is not laid out in ordinary printed type. It is images of many kinds of text, including handwritten. A little hard to describe, you need to peep inside to see the variety of typographic techniques deployed. I have a basic Kindle, with mono display so the colour features of the book were lost. It can resize text but failed to make the images large enough to read. It just made the book unreadable. So, it had to be the PC.

Anyway, I came this afternoon to an essay laid out as though the text were Japanese. In fact the English text is laid out alongside what I assume is the Japanese translation. It made my neck ache to try to read it.

I was stumped.

Then I recalled that my video driver would helpfully rotate my display for me. I got it to do so. Unfortunately I had chosen an incorrect rotation and still could not read the essay unless I stood upon my head…

…and that was when I found that I could not drive my mouse around the rotated display with any accuracy at all. Even the cursor keys were defeating me. Eventually I managed to re-rotate the display… to another incorrect rotation; one where it was even more difficult for my brain to grasp the mechanics of the mouse movement!

Eep! I thought that normality was never to be restored. Happily, here I am, the right way up again.

Perhaps I should have remembered that my monitor itself can be rotated.

The book is excellent – I really am enjoying it. I am not sure what it has to do with the Branding course, other than the first essay, but more than one of the essays seem very appropriate to the “Mind is Flat” one! Disappointingly slim for the price, but I would still recommend it. Most certainly expensive to produce as a physical book, but does the e version need to reflect that? It would be nice to own a physical copy and to enjoy the typography that way but I wanted this one in a hurry and Amazon and Kindle offer immediate gratification, which the absence of bookshop on the island does not. Rushing was most certainly a mistake on this occasion.

Just in case you are following my soup adventures still: today’s soup was leek and potato, with cheese drop scones on the side. The soup gave me an opportunity to try out my new silicone tea bag as a bouquet garni holder, and the drop scones saw the first use of my wonderful new palette knife. I don’t know how I got to my advanced age without ever buying a palette knife – I’m just glad that I finally got around to it!

In the mail today: a huge package of whole foods, and a book on making chocolates. A slight dissonance there maybe, but I maintain that there was nothing in the box of wholefoods that would not benefit from a little chocolate couverture…

I am hoping that the chocolate will arrive tomorrow. I want to spend a portion of this weekend in making truffles.

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