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"One could imagine a very ascetic sort of life ... where the body is ignored. This is something I've played with in my books, where people hate to be reminded sometimes that they have bodies, they find it very slow and tedious."
- William Gibson

Reading Plaque  
  A tablet-sized display for reading.  

When you get right down to it, the only part of a CRT that people really need is the screen.

Spivey regarded him for a long interval. Finally, he opened a slim briefcase and pulled out a large-format reading plaque. "I'd appreciate it if you'd leaf through this, Mr. Eng..."

He took the plaque... he put his thumb on the page-turn button and began skimming...

[Spivey said] "You haven't seen the actual recording yet... Allow me." The man expertly dialed the correct data page. "This was taken by a high-altitude reconnaissance blimp..."

From Earth, by David Brin.
Published by Bantam in 1990
Additional resources -

This was a pretty good prediction for its time; I remember purchasing a 16-lb "laptop" with an orange gas plasma display in about 1988. The display was still three quarters of an inch thick.

If you want to see a pretty good picture of a real-world plaque, see the A4-Sized Color E-Paper Unrolled By Philips.

This idea has a number of sfnal predecessors. Larry Niven wrote about the poster tv in a 1976 story. Philip K. Dick wrote about a battery-powered 3D comic book in his 1965 classic The Zap Gun. Stanislaw Lem thought about an electronic book as one with but a single page between the covers - see the entry for opton - in 1961.

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