Alan Turing referierte 1947 über vorstellbare Lesemaschinen:

Digital computing machines all have a central mechanism or control and some very extensive form of memory. The memory does not have to be infinite, but it certainly needs to be very large. In general the arrangement of the memory on an infinite tape is unsatisfactory in a practical machine, because of the large amount of time which is liable to be spent in shifting up and down the tape to reach the point at which a particular piece of information required at the moment is stored. Thus a problem might easily need a storage of three million entries, and if each entry was equally likely to be the next required the average journey up the tape would be through a million entries, and this would be intolerable. One needs some form of memory with which any required entry can be reached at short notice. This difficulty presumably used to worry the Egyptians when their books were written on papyrus scrolls. It must have been slow work looking up references in them, and the present arrangement of written matter in books which can be opened at any point is greatly to be preferred. We may say that storage on tape and papyrus scrolls is somewhat inaccessible.It takes a considerable time to find a given entry. Memory in book form is a good deal better, and is certainly highly suitable when it is to be read by the human eye. We could even imagine a computing machine that was made to work with a memory based on books. It would not be very easy but would be immensely preferable to the single long tape. Let us for the sake of argument suppose that the difficulties involved in using books as memory were overcome, that is to say that mechanical devices for finding the right book and opening it at the right page, etc. etc. had been developed, imitating the use of human hands and eyes. The information contained in the books would still be rather inaccessible because of the time occupied in the mechanical motions. One cannot turn a page over very quickly without tearing it, and if one were to do much transportation, and do it fast, the energy involved would be very great. Thus if we moved one book every millisecond and each was moved ten metres and weighed 200 grams, and if the kinetic energy were wasted each time we should consume 1010 watts, about half the country’s power consumption. lf we are to have a really fast machine then, we must have our information, or at any rate a part of it, in a more accessible form than can be obtained with books. It seerns that this can only be done at the expense of compactness and economy, e.g. by cutting the pages out of the books, and putting each one in to a separate reading mechanism. Some of the methods of storage which are being developed at the present time are not unlike this. 

Alan M. Turing: Lecture to the London Mathematieal Society on 20 February 1947