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Books Science

Do Readers Absorb Less On Kindles Than On Paper? Not Necessarily 105

Posted by Soulskill
from the kindles-absorb-less-spilled-beverage-than-paper-books dept.
An anonymous reader writes eBooks are great and wonderful, but as The Guardian reports, they might not be as good for readers as paper books. Results from a new study show that test subjects who read a story on a Kindle had trouble recalling the proper order of the plot events. Out of 50 test subjects, half read a 28-page story on the Kindle, while half read the same story on paper. The Kindle group scored about the same on comprehension as the control group, but when they were asked to put the plot points in the proper order, the Kindle group was about twice as likely to get it wrong.

So, is this bad news for ebooks? Have we reached the limits of their usefulness? Not necessarily. While there is evidence that enhanced ebooks don't enhance education, an older study from 2012 showed that students who study with an e-textbook on an ebook reader actually scored as well or higher on tests than a control group who did not. While that doesn't prove the newer research wrong, it does suggest that further study is required.
What has your experience been with both recall and enjoyment when reading ebooks?
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Do Readers Absorb Less On Kindles Than On Paper? Not Necessarily

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  • I find a study like this to be highly suspect. It's a 28 page story, hardly anything special. Have them read an actual novel instead. In 28 pages the "plot" is going to either be very convoluted or extremely thin. I find it just as likely that the 28 page story bored the kindle folks half to death and they didn't bother trying to recall it.

    You're going to have to do better than 28 pages. That's barely a chapter in the books I read.

    • Re:No difference (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mellon (7048) on Wednesday August 20, 2014 @05:18PM (#47715707) Homepage

      That wouldn't explain the different results among kindle folks versus paper folks, though.

      I suspect that the lack of physical pages does make a difference in terms of knowing where you are in a book. I certainly know that I can often open a physical book to the location of something I remember and come really close, particularly if it's a book I'm studying, but even for novels.

      But knowing exactly where you are in a book does not necessarily affect your comprehension of the book. I don't see any reason why it should. So yes, the lack of positional memory may make a difference in some test methodologies, but it doesn't mean people get less out of reading Kindle books. I mean, books on tape give you a completely different experience of the book than a paper book too; in some ways you probably get more, and in some ways less. This is the same sort of thing, I think.

      • Re:No difference (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Nate the greatest (2261802) on Wednesday August 20, 2014 @05:23PM (#47715753)
        Do you know what would explain the difference? The fact that only 2 people from the Kindle group [the-digital-reader.com] had used one before. That is going to throw the results, I think.
        • I agree completely. When I first started using an dreaded (an old LG keyboard phone with a JavaME spun reader I had hacked on to it) I found reading a bit of a chore. It took me a few days to get really comfortable with the seemingly small and yet ultimately pricing differences. Now I regularly read books on my smartphone and tablet without a hitch, and have noticed no recall problems.

        • Absolutely. Everyone's heard of these new fangled 'ereaders', but not necessarily had the interest in trying one. These non-adopters/non-curious people might be more caught up in the apparent novelty and newness, than what they're reading.

          I bet you would have seen a similar effect from watching a documentary in black and white vs color right when color TV's started to supplant black and white.

          Other confounding variables could include age; people who use kindles (or gadgets in general) would tend to be you

        • Re:No difference (Score:4, Interesting)

          by shipofgold (911683) on Wednesday August 20, 2014 @07:42PM (#47716679)

          While I am certainly not a statistician, 25 subjects in each group sounds suspect. "Twice as likely" always makes me wonder what the absolute numbers are...
          If 3 people messed up the plot order on paper and 6 people on the kindle, that gives a result "twice as likely", but does that really mean this test would repeat similarly with 10000 subjects.

          TFA says:

            "The Kindle readers performed significantly worse on the plot reconstruction measure, ie, when they were asked to place 14 events in the correct order."

          all of them? a few of them? what is "significantly"?

          • Re:No difference (Score:5, Interesting)

            by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Wednesday August 20, 2014 @07:56PM (#47716763)

            all of them? a few of them? what is "significantly"?

            There is another important question: Who funded this study, and why did they fund it?

            The market for education materials is HUGE, and there are vested interest groups that do NOT want schools moving to tablets, where they may not be able to control the curriculum. So they fund a study that finds that people don't learn well on tablets.

        • Do you know what would explain the difference? The fact that only 2 people from the Kindle group [the-digital-reader.com] had used one before. That is going to throw the results, I think.

          Bingo. It takes some time to get used to read on an e-reader, to navigate through pages and place bookmarks - a person who has never used a kindle will naturally have a hard time knowing and remembering how to put bookmarks, how to go back to them, how to flip pages back and forth.

          Experience should have been handled as a control variable. Since it was not, one has to infer some type of correlation with the results. At best, given the experiment, one can ask if there was such a correlation. Another variabl

      • The researchers already explained the difference:

        The researchers suggest that "the haptic and tactile feedback of a Kindle does not provide the same support for mental reconstruction of a story as a print pocket book does".

        Oh, wait, that's not even bad reporting. That's obviously just a guess.

        "We need to provide research and evidence-based knowledge to publishers on what kind of devices (iPad, Kindle, print) should be used for what kind of content; what kinds of texts are likely to be less hampered by bein

      • by peragrin (659227)

        Actually for reading books knowing where you are does help line up the story. (beginning middle or end)

        However for story's that bounce back and forth with exposition that is less helpful sometimes.

        • by bjs555 (889176)

          Actually for reading books knowing where you are does help line up the story. (beginning middle or end)

          I think that's true. If so, maybe a small progress bar along the top of an e-reader continuously showing where you are in the book could be helpful. I don't know if any e-readers offer such a feature.

          • Actually for reading books knowing where you are does help line up the story. (beginning middle or end)

            I think that's true. If so, maybe a small progress bar along the top of an e-reader continuously showing where you are in the book could be helpful. I don't know if any e-readers offer such a feature.

            Mine does: "Cool Reader" for Android.

            It includes tic marks for chapters, a "% completed" number, and even
            calculates "time left in chapter" and "time left in book", automatically
            calibrated to my reading speed.

            It's very unobtrusive and I rarely if ever look at the numbers, but the small,
            few-pixel-high progress bar is quite useful.

          • My Kindle has a progress bar at the bottom that tells me what percentage of the book has been read already. If I'm halfway through, it'll say 50% on the bottom. It uses percentages rather than pages because, unlike a paper book, you can resize the font on an eBook to make it easier for you to read. Thus, what would have been a single page could turn into two pages.

      • by Chrisq (894406)

        I certainly know that I can often open a physical book to the location of something I remember and come really close, particularly if it's a book I'm studying, but even for novels.

        True, but its swings and roundabouts. I can often remember a phrase and search for it in kindle, or leave a bookmark that won't fall out!

    • Re:No difference (Score:5, Insightful)

      by BasilBrush (643681) on Wednesday August 20, 2014 @05:27PM (#47715787)

      I find it just as likely that the 28 page story bored the kindle folks half to death and they didn't bother trying to recall it.

      Which doesn't explain why the ones reading it on paper act differently.

      I find both effects described are plausible. It's certainly true that the human memory by associating items with physical locations. Order particularly. It's how memory experts operate using memory palaces or the method of loci. It may be that the physical nature of a book (or a shorter form) gives the brain more to hang the details of the story on. That the reader can feel the weight and size, and is repeatedly seeing the front page, and can at all times how far through the page or document or book they are.

      Its also plausible that ebooks perform better as textbooks, because whilst they'll lose out on the features I mentioned above they benefit from greater efficiency with hyperlinks and searching, such that they can be a better tool for learning. (Learning being different from memorizing. It includes the concept of first understanding the material.)

    • by gweihir (88907)

      Same here. No difference at all for entertainment literature.

      25 each is too small a study to be sure, this could be a statistical anomaly. It is also possible that they had A4 sheets for the paper version while smaller pages on the Kindle that cannot display that much text at one go. Unless they give them a proper small paperback for comparison, they could have a lot of sources of error. Also, the information how well they did is missing. The given data would fit 2 getting it right on paper and one just on

      • It is also possible that they had A4 sheets for the paper version while smaller pages on the Kindle that cannot display that much text at one go. Unless they give them a proper small paperback for comparison, they could have a lot of sources of error.

        Why would that be an error? A4 sheets are amongst the paper materials that people read, and even bound books come in a variety of sizes. The fact that ebooks are small and present much less at a time than most paper experiences may be amongst the valid reasons for performing worse in sequence memory.

      • Re:No difference (Score:5, Interesting)

        by lucm (889690) on Wednesday August 20, 2014 @07:12PM (#47716509)

        The one issue I have with the Kindle is that reading technical books does not work too well. For them, I pencil in remarks and highlights, and the Kindle functionality for that is not really usable. Also, technical books often have formulas and pictures which do not work too well either.

        I agree that pictures and diagrams suck on a Kindle, but the highlighting is fantastic, I've been using it a lot since I found out that in my Kindle library online I can access all the text I have highlighted, ever. In the past I used to stop reading whenever I would find something interesting that inspired me to do some googling, or when I would learn about some other book mentioned by the author. Now I simply highlight stuff and I look it up later. A lot more convenient.

        Also it's possible to lookup a word or sentence in wikipedia without leaving the page, there is a small pop-up window for that. Hugely convenient. Same thing with the built-in dictionary; that's what I used to brush up my Spanish since it's possible to have 1 default dictionary per language.

        And finally there is the Audible sync thing. I can listen to an audiobook while driving, and when I get home I can pick up where I left reading on my Kindle, the audio and ebooks are synchronized. I have to buy both but there is a big discount. It's not ideal for deeply technical books, but it works well for other kinds of non-fiction like business books or biographies. And it is awesome for fiction.

        I would not go back to reading paper books or ebooks on a tablet. For a while I had access to O'Reilly Safari and while they have a large selection of technical books it is pretty subpar as far as e-reading goes, I hated it.

    • by ceoyoyo (59147)

      That's not the suspicious part. This is:

      "But instead, the performance was largely similar, except when it came to the timing of events in the story."

      So they measured a whole bunch of things. What would you like to bet they didn't correct for multiple comparisons?

  • Something in this? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jabes (238775) on Wednesday August 20, 2014 @05:08PM (#47715605) Homepage

    I think there is something in this. I used to read paper books prolifically, but through change in lifestyle (kids, work pressures) didn't get round to it so much. The kindle has allowed me to read more again because I can take it everywhere with me. But I certainly get much more confused about which book was which and have less association with who the author was as the whole book purchase decision making is so much quicker.

    This means I lose track of which books in a particular series I've read, and find myself wondering if I've read a particular title or not

    BUT, I am reading more again and enjoying it when I do. So does it really matter?

    • by mellon (7048) on Wednesday August 20, 2014 @05:19PM (#47715717) Homepage

      Yup, I have the same problem. I think it's because you don't see the cover of the book every time you pick it up. This would be a really easy UI fix.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by BasilBrush (643681)

        It's more than just the cover image and text though. A book has an individual feel. It's page size, thickness, weight, the extent to which the spine opens, the colour and texture of the paper, even the smell.

        A simplistic attitude is that these things don't matter. But for memory, such details do matter. The context is at least as important as the content. For example it's a common experience that a smell can bring forth strong memories.

        • It's more than just the cover image and text though. A book has an individual feel. It's page size, thickness, weight, the extent to which the spine opens, the colour and texture of the paper, even the smell.

          A simplistic attitude is that these things don't matter.

          I love paper! The look of it! The smell of it! The taste of it! The texture! I love paper so much that I lost my genitalia in an unfortunate pulping accident. Hence the name... Papermember.

        • Book-feel will have to await future haptics research, but as for the smell, you're already covered:

          http://smellofbooks.com/ [smellofbooks.com]
      • Maybe you have the wrong e-reader. When you turn on the Kobo, the cover of the ebook is displayed for half a second before it switches to the last opened page. Also, the Kobo keeps track of which books you've read and how much of the book you've gone through.

        The shortcomings with the Kobo are:
        1 - No color.
        2 - Books are hard to place into series order, and hard to arrange on bookshelves.
        3 - Conversion from one format to another sometimes causes paragraphs to merge. This makes it hard to read.
    • by gweihir (88907)

      It does not matter at all for entertainment. All these studies target e-learning in the final consequence though, as some people believe that is the future. (I don't think so. I think learning is difficult and no amount of putting "e-" into it is going to change that.)

    • I think it's because I have my ebook with me wherever I am and tend to read in line somewhere, or while my wife runs in to the store, while on a treadmill or stationary bike at the gym. In short bursts, while I don't feel I get any less enjoyment of the book (trivial fiction usually), I do have a harder time placing each of the little bits I read together properly.

      But I don't think it has to do with the medium at all, I think it has to do with how the medium was consumed and what sort of behaviors it enable

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      I think the problem isn't the kindle, it's what the kindle provides.

      When you read a book, you pretty much read A book, because you generally only carried one instead of dozens as physical carrying capacity was a limited resource.

      But with kindle, you can carry dozens of ebooks, and be in the middle of many of them at the same time. If anything, that leads to mass confusion from trying to keep all the plots straight.

      If I kept reading one book at a time (I read on my iPad using iBooks, btw) I get the story jus

  • E-readers are easier to hold in my hands, especially when it comes to long (in terms of pages) or small (in terms of physical size) books. I also like that I can read in the dark with my e-reader because it has a backlit screen.

    It's easier to turn the page of normal books, though. It's also much easier to skip around between large numbers of pages.

  • What I've noticed in myself and in others is that it's not so much the act of reading as it is the act of putting into practice what one has read, from the simplest form in transcription, to the most complex in applied labs.

    In myself, for something that's going to be difficult to remember from a lecture or a text, I find that writing it down with a pencil or pen makes remembering it easier than typing it does. My wife has commented similarly for herself as well. That's part of what makes me wonder abou
    • by gweihir (88907)

      I found the same when I started to take meeting-notes on my laptop. They were too long, not clear enough, and worst of all, I did not remember them. Went back to pen&paper and the problem went away. It is also far easier taking notes that way, as you are not working 1.5D but true 2D (remarks, arrows, etc.)

  • by Ecuador (740021) on Wednesday August 20, 2014 @05:13PM (#47715657) Homepage
    The Kindle (unlike my first ereader - a Sony that sat unused after the first month) dramatically changed my reading habits. It made it very easy to read at night in bed (thanks to the small weight and the integrated light), to carry a bunch of books with me anywhere (e.g. commuting to work, on vacation etc) and also the instantaneous delivery helps getting a book the instant you think about reading it.
    As a result I am enjoying reading more, but, yeah, I guess recall of individual books is a bit worse now that I am reading more than twice as many...
    • by mlts (1038732)

      I have tried a number of E-readers, and the one I tend to use the most (other than my phone) is an older Kindle Keyboard. I do like having paper books, but there is something about being able to find an O'Reilly book about a subject when in a server room, or buy the modern equivalent of penny dreadfuls (Weird Tales... 101 decent short stories for a buck. Hard to beat that.)

      The instant delivery is also nice. Friend mentions a book, and grabbing a copy is very quick... although one might pay $10 and find t

  • It doesn't look quite like paper yet. A little more contrast perhaps and zero reflectivity, and no that doesn't mean embedded LEDs. What I find is that ebooks make a poorly written work a lot less appealing, while I have no difficulty reading, enjoying and retaining the masterpieces in that format.

  • by gurps_npc (621217) on Wednesday August 20, 2014 @05:17PM (#47715705) Homepage
    After all, we don't know if this is a problem with all e-readers, or just with the Kindle.

    Also, which model of Kindle? There are a distressing number of options:

    e -ink or LCD?

    With advertisements or without?

    Large or small sized?

    • I found that I truly detest reading on the new kindle, but the e-ink version and the e-ink Nook are both pretty nice.

      • You're not under the impression the Paperwhite isn't e-ink are you? It is. Paperwhite is e-ink with a sidelight built in.

        • by m3000 (46427)

          I think he meant the Kindle Fire, which is marketed (among other things) as an e-reader.

          I can read on an LCD in a pinch, but e-ink really is just vastly superior for reading.

          • Yup, that's exactly what I was referring to. The paper white is actually quite nice.

          • Wow. I hadn't noticed that Amazon was marketing the Fire tablets as e-readers, but yeah, that's the wrong hardware for the job. Sounds like a group of marketers at Amazon think that their poop can dance and do tricks.

  • With a physical book that I've read I have a fairly good idea where I need to open it up to find something I'm looking for. With an eBook there are no pages to really catalog because they're all on the same page. Just a thought.
    • I suspect the e-readers are more likely to be time pressed people who multitask alot often skimming for important points where readers of paper editions tend to close out distractions and read the full text without jumping about looking at key events in random order. E book manual owners tend to read them the same way I read the National Electrical Code going to revelant sections to answer specific questions. Other than the numbered chapters sections of the code, I would have had difficulting knowing if H

    • by guygo (894298)
      I'm with medv. I much the way people wake up just before their alarm clock goes off, I think we subconsciously keep track of where we are in the book, and the pages give us a concrete measuring stick to judge by. Then we can relate passages of the story to physical locations in the paper book, giving us more of a timeline reference. At least, that makes sense to my experience with ereaders v books.
    • by geekoid (135745)

      what? with my kindle, it puts me on the last page I read, regardless of the last device I was reading it on.

      What does knowing about where you where have to do with comprehension?

    • Studying AND reference is completely different on an e-book than in a textbook. With a textbook, I wrote in the margins, highlighted text, and dog-eared pages, plus used sticky tabs in various places.

      With an e-book, you don't have to do most of that, as you can quickly search for anything in the entire book... or for that matter, you can quickly search through your entire collection. Highlighting is more difficult, and linked notes don't have quite the same "physical space memory" triggers due to the lack

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 20, 2014 @05:22PM (#47715739)

    I'm a calculus instructor. We're required to tolerate e-texts. I've found that my students who use the e-text in class on laptops generally fail to be able to effectively use the textbook. The students with the "illegal" pdf on the ipad do better, but those students who use the dead tree version in class are generally able to find information when doing the homework. However, that's all anecdotal, and I'm working on designing a study to get a statistically significant result. Unfortunately, the first pass shows that use of paper v.s. e-reader is strongly correlated with ethnicity and looks clustered on family income, so designing a meaningful study is very challenging. (the 2011 study doesn't give a meaningful answer, despite the submitters flawed argument otherwise)

    • by Bentbob (1081243)
      Some of my anecdote experience overlaps with what you mentioned though for me its more from my own personal experience. Referencing a physical book often feels easier than a digital copy provided that I am used to the book and know the layout of where all the information is given. It is easier to quickly flip between two parts of the book and compare information (e.g. Fact x in Chapter 3 and Fact y in Chapter 11). Though a digital copy of a book/text will have search features which makes finding unknown (no
  • Unless they had a high suspicion that e-readers cause poor retention then why even study it unless they were skewed from the start? This is like pitting peanut butter cookies versus chocolate chip cookies as cancer cures. You'll likely find that one works better than the other just by chance, but the fact is that neither of them has any cancer curing effect whatsoever. It's a suspicious, stupid study.

  • If you asked me what the plot line is for the book that I am currently reading, I couldn't tell you off of the top of my head. However, after picking up the text and reading for five minutes, I would be able to spell out the plot, the characters, and their back story. When I read a physical book, I have better memory of what's going on. The reason is that a physical book provides clues that aids in memory recall, such as the cover art, size, shape, etc. These clues can be more easily recalled and associ

    • by geekoid (135745)

      You need cover art to remember a plot?
      You're weird..or I"m a SUPER GENIUS! no, no. you're weird.

      You literally can not talk about a book you've been reading unless the book is right there?

      • You need cover art to remember a plot?
        You're weird..or I"m a SUPER GENIUS! no, no. you're weird.

        You literally can not talk about a book you've been reading unless the book is right there?

        I need the cover art to jug my memory to remember the DETAILS, yes. I have no problem remembering the basic plot. Of course I haven't picked it up in over two weeks. Some of us push stuff to the back of our minds when we are working on more important stuff.

        So, no, I'm not weird and nor are you a super genius. Either you have been reading your book much more recently than I have or you have a much less demanding life....

  • ... an e-reader saves a LOT of shelf space, making it WORTH it!

  • by h5inz (1284916) on Wednesday August 20, 2014 @05:56PM (#47716017)
    Did they consider this:
    http://hbr.org/2012/03/hard-to... [hbr.org]
  • I wouldn't be surprised if the more idiosyncratic tactile experience of reading a physical book positively affects the reader's ability to memorize the content.
  • I don't do much ebook reading, but I can assure you that since I tend to read books random access*, I can easily get plot sequences out of line.

    This is not specifically an ebook problem, if it's any kind of problem at all.

    *Yeah. I skip around sometimes. The author is not the boss of me. If I want to jump ahead, cheat and see the ending early, whatever... that's how I read it.

  • e-books are less weight meaning they travel more often, and I am reading on average twice what I did on dead trees. Single data point entered.

  • (Note, I tried to make the subject line read, "Books>Kindle>Audiobooks", but for some reason, Slashdot removed the ">"s.)

    I absorb least of all from audiobooks, only partly because I usually fall asleep in the first five minutes.

    Ever since the Kindle app got rid of the little graphical representation of where you are in the book (like a timeline, at the bottom, where you saw whether you were 1/4 of the way through, halfway or close to the end), I've been a little uncomfortable with my ebooks.

    Say wha

    • Say what you will about those old paper-and-board book things, at least you knew exactly where you were, and could get some mental image of the progression of the narrative arc.

      Seems to me I get the same effect by glancing down to the bottom of my Nook's display and noting the "page ## of ####".

      Seriously, if that's your only problem with a Reader....

      • by PopeRatzo (965947)

        Seems to me I get the same effect by glancing down to the bottom of my Nook's display and noting the "page ## of ####".

        Don't get me wrong, I love my reader. But a number and a graphical display of how much is left are two different things. And the physical sensation of how much of a book is on the left and how much on the right (for western readers), is another altogether.

        As I said, I read almost exclusively on my Nexus 7. Except magazines, where I prefer dead tree editions.

        • by Whorhay (1319089)

          I get what you are talking about but I've also read a number of books that fooled me with the amount of paper that was left. Usually those were books that had 10's of pages or more of non-story stuff at the end. Appendix's in works of fiction annoy the crap out of me.

          • by PopeRatzo (965947)

            Appendix's in works of fiction annoy the crap out of me.

            That depends, of course. Nabokov's Pale Fire was mostly footnotes and appendices. And I've seen novels that have had glossaries and endnotes and epilogues and so on.

            I'm confident that ebooks will eventually overcome this minor hurdle. But I really can't figure out why the Kindle app removed that very nice feature. It was just a solid line at the bottom of the page that showed a dot for where you were in the timeline of the book.

            I forget the word f

            • by Whorhay (1319089)

              I would definitely like to see better bookmark option and the ability to turn by chapters. Chapter or section flipping would be very nice and I miss it most when reading stuff like anthologies of short stories and such.

  • I am a bibliophile, and much prefer to read a book to my kindle.
    Nonetheless, I travel a lot and a kindle is inarguably an advantage for me.
    I found the kindle was terribly distracting for at least the first month, until I settled down and didn't have to think at all about using it. So I would like to see this test done with experienced users.

  • "Have we reached the limits of their usefulness?"

    Ummm...no? Seriously, WTF? Sure, the study is interesting, but what limits are we talking about? I suppose the Kindle might not be the best choice for reading a history text, but aside from that, meh.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    In my tests, paper books were far more absorbent than Kindle readers (either eInk or touchscreen). The average paperback book will absorb about 3 deciliters, while the Kindles didn't really absorb anything. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the Kindles were uniformly inoperable after the absorption testing, but that is beyond the scope of this study.

  • by Fnord666 (889225) on Wednesday August 20, 2014 @08:47PM (#47717067) Journal
    Maybe this little tidbit, found at the end of the article, can shed some light on the cause of the difference.

    The Elizabeth George study included only two experienced Kindle users, and she is keen to replicate it using a greater proportion of Kindle regulars. But she warned against assuming that the "digital natives" of today would perform better.

  • If you are comparing a dedicated ereader to a printed book, I would be wondering why retention would be better with the print version. That is particularly true when you are looking at a short text, where things like pages read is less relevant.

    Now if you're talking about real reading situations, I can understand there being a difference. I would imagine that people are more likely to pickup and drop the book at different intervals (the benefit of portability). I would imagine that people are also more p

  • I find that I have trouble concentrating on an audio book vs printed/e-book.

  • I wonder how familiar the readers using the kindles where with the device. I imagine that if you are using it for the first time it would be somewhat distracting until you get used to it.
  • I read a little slower. I have no A-B-A "test" to tell!
    I never lose my place and the "book" lays open instead always wanting to close. Since I don't read for more than 30 minutes at a time, those things are a decent +.

  • I have both an iPad and Kindle. A few things with the iPad...I touch a word, the dictionary entry comes up. This is quite helpful. I am used to referring to the progress bar so sequence recall isn't a problem. Some books have x-Ray enabled, and that helps with story cohesion. Basically, after I've spent a lot of time with the iPad reader, I find it as good or better than paper. Except for the beach.
    • by Chrisq (894406)

      I have both an iPad and Kindle. A few things with the iPad...I touch a word, the dictionary entry comes up. This is quite helpful. I am used to referring to the progress bar so sequence recall isn't a problem. Some books have x-Ray enabled, and that helps with story cohesion. Basically, after I've spent a lot of time with the iPad reader, I find it as good or better than paper. Except for the beach.

      The thing about the kindle is it comes somewhere between a paperback that you would take to the beach and an iPad that you would treat with great care. I bung a kindle in a rucksack if I'm camping, take it around places where I wouldn't bring an iPad - if it did get broken or nicked it would be annoying but not that annoying.

  • One thing that goes away with the Kindle is the ability to use your fingers as temporary bookmarks while you flip pages back and forth to look something up. Advanced book users might use several of these bookmarks at one point if the information is spread across chapters. Even the simple "partially turn page to see what's on the other side without losing focus of the current page" isn't working.

    Yet I still bought a Kindle (Paperwhite), because books aren't very readable in the dark, and I find myself switch

    • by ceoyoyo (59147)

      Kindle's have bookmarks. They're easy to use and work very well. I use them exactly as you've just described.

  • ... but I have more trouble
    reading text that is squished
    into the tiny window of
    an e-reader. Having to manually
    scroll interrupts my reading
    and I tire of the experience
    quickly. Maybe that has
    something to do with
    their reduced comprehension.

The only possible interpretation of any research whatever in the `social sciences' is: some do, some don't. -- Ernest Rutherford

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