Why is virtually nothing on the web justified and hyphenated? Grab any book off the shelf in your home or office and I’ll bet you it’s justified and hyphenated. In fact, I challenge you to find me a book that isn’t.
Hundreds of years of making books and it seems to me everyone agrees justified and hyphenated is the way to go. Now all of a sudden it’s controversial whether or not it’s really better for reading, easier on the eyes, &c. The technology exists to easily hyphenate any website or app, but many developers either aren’t aware it’s possible or choose not to do it because they somehow think ragged-right is better.
And I’m not just talking about average blogs or news websites. I’m looking squarely at sites like Instapaper and Readability, and apps like Flipboard and Articles, who claim to offer a superior reading experience (and for the most part I think they do), yet continue to feature rag-right text. I’m also looking at e-book readers like Amazon’s Kindle or Apple’s iBooks, or Bible apps like OliveTree BibleReader or Crossway’s ESV Bible.
For all this new-fangled technology we have, e-reading is just not like reading a real book. It seems to me justification and hyphenation are a cheap and easy way to get closer to the real thing, so why aren’t they being utilized more universally?
I’ve been using LibraryThing to catalog my books since September 2005. All Things Considered on NPR recently featured LibraryThing in a story called “Web Sites Let Bibliophiles Share Books Virtually” (listen).
I especially love the intro to this story:
You know that you’re a bibliophile if you check out peoples’ bookshelves when you visit their homes, if you never pass a used bookstore without going in, or if you have a giant wishlist on Amazon.com.
That fits me to a tee. If it fits you, you owe it to yourself to check out LibraryThing!
(hat tip: The LibraryThing Blog)
I just finished a couple of great books: Christian Beliefs: Twenty Basics Every Christian Should Know by Wayne Grudem and Basic Christianity by John R.W. Stott.
If I had to choose one of these books over the other, I think it would be Christian Beliefs. It follows the same major topics as most full-blown theology texts, and, in fact, is a condensation of Grudem’s 528 page Bible Doctrine, which is itself a condensation of Grudem’s 1,296 page Systematic Theology. As such, there is a wealth of information packed into this svelte volume. I especially found the Westminster Catechism, the Chicago Statement of Biblical Inerrancy, and the ancient Christian creeds in the back of the book to be a nice touch. Grudem also provides a list of roughly 45 books for additional study from a variety of perspectives. I can’t think of a better, more easily digestible introduction to Christian theology than this book, and have already recommended it to several friends and others who have inquired about what I believe.