Growing up, we had those huge reading books with pieces of stories, comprehension questions, and author blurbs published by McGraw Hill, etc.

When I was in 4th grade (circa 1984), we read a story about futuristic reading devices in that massive reading textbook. I have no idea what the title or author was, but it was about a brother and sister. The sister was reading a book on a screen, and turning the pages by dragging her finger from right to left. I loved this story, and reread it like 20 times (much to my teacher's chagrin), and even went so far as to copy it word by word, manually, and tuck it safely in my binder so that I would "have it forever and ever." LOL it was probably thrown away by the end of the year!

Does this ring any bells with you? I would love to pull this story for personal reasons, as well as to compare/contrast how technology REALLY developed with the kids (i.e. how this idea is akin to Nooks, Kindles, etc.) I really am at a loss for how to begin searching for this. I don't even know if it was an excerpt from a book, or simply a short story. Any ideas? Many thanks!!!

  • Was the idea that this system was used as an educational aid - a sort of substitute for standard classroom learning? If so, I may have read it as well, and my recollection is that it was in one of those children's readers, too. Apr 25, 2012 at 5:39

1 Answer 1


I found the short story that I was thinking of - Isaac Asimov's The Fun They Had. A brother and sister find an actual book - physical paper and all - and marvel at the novelty of words that don't automatically move across a screen.

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