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Back in elementary school (1994-1995) we had books called "readers" that contained short stories or excerpts from novels. One story was about a guy who had a time-travel device that was the size of an egg (or egg-timer?) and had a control dial. He was trying to figure out how to use it, and in the process jumped around in time. Three things I remember:

  1. He time jumps into the (post apocalyptic?) future where there is green gas everywhere. He starts coughing and believes it to be poisonous so he time jumps.
  2. He time jumps into his bathroom where his future self is taking a shower. His future self doesn't act surprised and gives him a quick run down on how to use the device.
  3. Every time he time jumps, he feels faint. The author uses this word italicized to summarize his time jump ("Faint").

That's as much as I remember. I would really like to read the rest of the book. Thanks!

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    Welcome to Stack Exchange, and congrats on asking our 6000th story-identification question! Can you remember anything else about this story - e.g. was it written in English, or any idea how old it was?
    – Rand al'Thor
    Apr 16 '16 at 0:11
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I think this is The Green Futures of Tycho. From page 7 of the preview on google books, the time travel device is egg-shaped:

It was nothing more than a small oval, about the size of a small egg.

There are some jumps depicted on page 14 and 15, and both times it says "He felt faint." And on p. 16 he jumps into the future in his bathroom and find that someone is in the shower, then at the top of p. 17 he finds out it's his future self:

The shower curtain rustled. He looked up.

And saw himself emerging out of the steam.

And although the page isn't available in the preview, searching the preview for the term "air" shows one snippet from p. 99 that says "A heavy rotten smell hung in the motionless air. The new addition sagged, full of large holes, soft around the edges like melted wax. Behind it loomed what was left of the house, half seen in the fading light." So, sounds like it could be the post-apocalyptic scene you were describing.

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