Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Reading Kubrick on an iPhone

I'm not sure how I've never read this before, but writer Michael Herr (co-writer of Full Metal Jacket) wrote about his friend Stanley Kubrick in the August 1999 issue of Vanity Fair, just after Kubrick's death and before the release of his last film, Eyes Wide Shut. It's a great (and long) piece.

I had saved it to Instapaper which is still my Read It Later service of choice. It has a new owner and they just greatly improved the web interface (I still mainly use it on the iPad and iPhone though that might change now). It still does a great job of putting the content first, removing all the extra crap that sites put around their articles and using a font that's easy to read.

This time though I mostly read it on my iPhone while out having lunch using a new app called ReadQuick (iTunes link). It's now $5 and I must of have gotten it on sale at some point. It shows an article one word at a time and has a scale to adjust the reading speed. They first released it as an iPad app but now it supports the iPhone. If you're an Instapaper subscriber it can connect to and show the articles in your account though it doesn't save current the location back to Instapaper.

Today I was seeing 325 words flash by each minute. You don't have to scroll the text but you can't look away without pausing it (by double tapping). It works pretty well though I missed paragraph clues and enclosing punctuation (like parenthesis) see a little odd as they are included with their connected words. Also sometimes Instapaper includes offset quotes and seeing them inline one word at a time can be a little confusing.

Bonus: More Kubrick stories, Kubrick recalled by influential set designer Sir Ken Adam

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