Seperis (seperis) wrote,

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thanksgiving is for meta

So while navigating separate pages of chapters of a fic to cut and paste into Word (that would be thirty-six goddamn chapters of copy/paste, convert to html, add to calibre, and convert to mobi), I had a lot of time to think one day about reading habits; ie, my interaction with fanfiction. Me and my Kindle did not have a hard bond on the subject of fanfic until my schedule became insane at work this summer and suddenly it was a hell of a lot easier to navigate AO3 on my Kindle to grab fics I wanted to read or do a sweep at home through the archive, add a whole whole bunch to calibre, and upload quickly.

Now with both my Kindle and Kindle Fire, the habit is set; I want it readable on one of them, and if I have time, I'll damn well make it readable, but if I don't, it's a skip. And this, retrospectively, is by far the biggest shift in my fanfic reading habits since the mailing-list to livejournal changeover, which was preceded by the usenet to mailing list (and yes, there's overlap in all of these).

And I say this with complete understanding of my own quirks; AO3's single-one-stop mobi and single-page format reading options have really fed my entitlement, to the point where I'm staring at hatefully and muttering, and yes, The Paladin Protocol was totally worth it, but still. Thirty six chapters with careful copy/pasting and everything jumping to center abruptly for no reason so I had to format did give me some moments of pure hatred.

To give some context, I was on before the NC-17 ban and did a full delete of my account when it came down. A lot of this was I wasn't trained into's structure early on so I had no reason to stay; I was trained into fanfiction in Trek when everyone was getting geocities webpages and everyone on their own pages would do single-page format for long stories (and short) I could download (fairly easily) and I only read short form in email off mailing list. And all my character codes, my pairing code order and fandom acronym and header structure were announced on ASC and pretty much everyone followed it because I don't say everyone in Trek was there, but it sure felt like it.

As far as pairing codes and fandom acronyms go, I'm really into authoritarianism; I am a fan of a certain level of rigid structuring being in place that everyone uses and then a more free-flow beneath that. I have no personal opinion and attach no deep meaning to whether Clark or Lex goes first in a pairing code because in Trek, if I remember correctly, it was based on rank followed by first appearance (see Neelix, Kes, Seven of Nine). And it took me several years in fandom to realize people did, in fact, use pairing code to express a lot more than these people were in a relationship and/or fucking. It could be--and sometimes was--a rather sophisticated expression of how they were fucking and many variations in between.

Has anyone else noticed this kind of shift? In Trek and early X-Men, I was very much save and print, because dial-up was expensive and my computer was slow and a desktop. Late X-Men to SGA, it was very much save to disk and read, because by SV I had a faster computer and by SGA I had a laptop. Late SGA to well, this summer was bookmark to delicious, so I could read it anywhere I had a connection. Now I'm back to the surreality of cut-paste to html to calibre to mobi, plus bookmark to delicious (bundles are back! And fucked up, but I can deal with that, they are still here!) plus save to disk for later mobi conversion. AO3 and the mobile archives are suddenly like, places I spent a lot of time tracking down authors in the hopes that the story they posted to LJ is archived there and trying not to judge them if they aren't (yes, I do not have my entire back catalogue on AO3 yet, but this is because I am lazy and because even after conversion, I have to go in and hand edit some truly hideous things I did in html tags back when I didn't know better. My later stuff when I became a fan of using style sheets is ridiculously easy in comparison).

Also, AO3 is faster than calibre in bulk conversion if not in fine tuning the formatting. And now I'm faintly resentful I can't find a site I can go to, copy in the addresses of a whole bunch of bits of stories, and have them deliver me a single file mobi file on the spot. Which I can honestly say like, a year ago I would have called myself an entitled ass, but that was before I drank the e-reader kool-aid and realized that this was like, the reason I was born, you understand. To clutch my Kindle in one hand and read with a flicker of my finger anywhere in the world without fuss and without bulk (this has transformed flying for me, you understand. Transformed it).

So in light of massive turkey consumption and having a glorious four days of no work and catching up on my sleep and whatnot, anyone else having a revelation in reading habits? And more importantly, and this made me curious, with the advent of ereaders and tablets and very large phone screens, is the future of fanfic archives going to shift to an equal if not higher focus on accessibility on mobile devices instead of on the current computer screen standard size and functionality?

(To be fair, this is also the result of entering a fandom read-only and falling in love with a het pairing so hard I think I bruised myself, but oh my God I love Penny. I just love Penny and I want her to have everything she wants in the universe. And after Rodney blowing up solar systems, Sheldon doesn't worry me at all. Though [personal profile] norabombay thinks what the world needs is support group fic where John Sheppard, John Watson, Penny, and Clark all gather for cookies and xanax to talk about how they deal with genius-teetering-on-the-potential-for-supervillian significant others and everyone sits in awe of Penny who has like, a pack of them wandering around her and she hasn't killed them all yet and how she does it. Because I love Penny. And support groups are a good thing.)

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