The codex also came with a fringe benefit: It created a very different reading experience. With a codex, for the first time, you could jump to any point in a text instantly, nonlinearly. You could flip back and forth between two pages and even study them both at once. You could cross-check passages and compare them and bookmark them. You could skim if you were bored, and jump back to reread your favorite parts. It was the paper equivalent of random-access memory, and it must have been almost supernaturally empowering. With a scroll you could only trudge through texts the long way, linearly.
Over the next few centuries the codex rendered the scroll all but obsolete.
“JISC infoNet is pleased to announce the launch of the new Business Classification Scheme (BCS) and Records Retention Schedule (RRS) for Higher Education Institutions. The 3rd iteration of this highly regarded resource is the result of extensive consultation within the sector plus significant additional research both undertaken for JISC infoNet by Emmerson Consulting. …”
“In an increasingly complex digital world, it is tempting to get sucked into the precision – often a wholly spurious precision – that seems endemic to this culture. I recently caught myself doing it, despite my own distinctly analogue leanings. When asked for the time at a bus stop last week, I found myself replying “Seven forty-eight” – instead of the answer I would usually give: “Just after quarter to eight.” I put this momentary lapse of good taste down to early morning low blood sugar and the disabling effect of public transport, but it is a symptom of something much bigger – a subject that has captured the (not insubstantial) imagination of computer scientist Kees van Deemter. …”
“… And if you think the previous sentences were a little clogged, repetitive, extravagant, wasteful, prodigal, lavish or over-egged, then it is just possible that this is not the book for you. To anyone, however, who takes pleasure, delight, joy, gladness, glee, satisfaction, gratification, contentment, enjoyment or amusement in contemplating excess, it may be just the ticket, pass, authorisation, permit, token, coupon or voucher. …”