Throughout the 20th-century, we've come up with crazy ideas for reinventing books, ones that make our phone and tablet readers seem almost modest. From books projected onto the ceiling to reading Ferris wheels, here are some of the last century's strangest and most innovative book proposals.

The Fiske Reading Machine, in the hand of its inventor, Rear Admiral Bradley Fiske, 1922

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"A sample prepared by the inventor illustrates the size of the type. He had the entire first volume of Mark Twain's 'Innocents Abroad', a book of 93,000 words, prepared into a small pamphlet of only thirteen pages, three and three-quarters by five and three-quarters inches with wide margins." – according to Popular Mechanics, July 1926.

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And a related article from The Miami News, October 30, 1926:

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(via Shorpy)

An automated reading device, from Everyday Science and Mechanics, 1935

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(via Smithsonian)

Memex, a hypothetical proto-hypertext system, described by Vannevar Bush in "As We May Think", an article appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, 1945

Enciclopedia Mecánica, invented by Ángela Ruiz Robles, 1949

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(via Ebookfriendly, La Voz de Galicia and Revista Texturas)

Electronic Home Library, by Arthur Radebaugh, Chicago Sunday Tribune, 1959

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(via Paleofuture)

The February 17, 1962 issue of the Sunday comic strip Our New Age, shows an online library. ARPANET was only started seven years later, so the prediction was really ahead of its time.

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The Reading Machine, created by Daniel Libeskind for Venice Architecture Biennale in 1986, after a 400-year-old drawing of Captain Agostino Ramelli

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(via Retronaut)

Bonus: The Book of Future, by Tom Gauld, 2013

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(via Tom Gauld)