“While 75% of the world’s population spends hours daily hunched over their handheld devices with their heads flexed forward, they are all in constant danger and at risk of developing Text Neck. The frequent forward flexion causes changes in the cervical spine, curve, supporting ligaments, tendons, and musculature, as well as the bony segments, commonly causing postural change. Among the chief complaints associated with Text Neck are pain felt in the neck, shoulder, back, arm, fingers, hands, wrists and elbows, as well as headaches and numbness and tingling of the upper extremities.”
The malady of text neck is a syndrome of complaints associated with tension induced in the neck as derived from the fixed grip of a reading device. The focal length hand-held position is the same as with printed books but the variable sizes, weights and manipulative variations of print books are absent. In their place is the frozen grip of the e-device that induces the neck tension.
TeleRead has a good scroll this morning including a David Rothman synopsis on public library e-book access. Among his approaches is library purchase of Overdrive. He is concerned that the digital public library traffic will be leaked away by other free access. There is also a fun item on home book scanning with unlibrary incentives, but not unreader interests.
From Bob Stein’s Sophie to Peter Meyers Breaking the Page, thoughtful futurists have visualized a native electronic book. The dawning of this species is yet to emerge as screen books still mimic print books.
Less apparent is the infiltration of print books among screen readers. These infiltrations range from Espresso books, to photo books, to the shadow print versions of ebooks. Such infiltration is not surprising; the nimble print app has been adapting quickly to readers’ needs for two millennia. It was print production and print library utilities that first exploited digital technologies and distribution of means of production downward to end-users powered a photo copier and print scanner wave still with us. Print books were not born yesterday and print books, now all born digital, grow up happily in the screen world.