Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on the Future of the Book

Reader's Helper: An on-screen electronic aid to reading

Dr. David Stork, Jamey Graham.

The future of the book is foreshadowed by trends in reading praxis; the most important such trend is away from “vertical reading” (deep reading of a single document) and toward “horizontal reading” (rapid skimming of multiple documents). The Reader’s Helper is an electronic reading environment that facilitates and makes more efficient such horizontal reading. A reader click-selects any number of color-coded topics of current interest; this then automatically highlights associated keywords and phrases in the document, which is presented in the document view window. The ThumBar is an enhanced scroll-bar showing a much reduced version of the document and its topic highlighting, allowing the reader to rapidly scroll to regions of interest. In this way, navigating and reading documents becomes a more interactive and efficient. The Reader’s Helper enables new types of interactions between reader and document and new forms of electronic book design.


Dr. David Stork  (United States)
Chief Scientist
California Research Center
Ricoh Innovations

Dr. David G. Stork is Chief Scientist of Ricoh Innovations and Consulting Professor of Electrical Engineering and Visiting Lecturer in Art History at Stanford University. A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Maryland, he has published widely in documents, document workflow theory, pattern recognition, machine learning, optics and Renaissance art. He's published five books, including Seeing the Light and Pattern Classification (2nd ed.).

Jamey Graham  (United States)

  • Reader’s Helper
  • ThumBar scroll-bar
  • Vertical and horizontal reading
  • Reader-selected topics and document highlighting
  • Enhanced electronic books

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)