No Speeding Reading with eBooks?

July 7, 2010 by Miranda Marquit weblog
Image source: Design Continuum via Wikimedia Commons

( -- Many think that ebooks could change the way we interact with the written word. They are convenient, and ereaders provide mobility -- as well as the ability to store thousands of books in a small device. However, we are still attached to our more traditional books. In order to appeal to the book loving audience, ebook publishers have taken pains to do what they can to make the experience close to reading, by working with fonts and word sizes, and even using techniques that allow you to use a motion of "turning" pages.

Even with all of this, though, reading an ebook is slow going when compared with reading more traditional . And now a study has been completed that show that you can faster with a traditional book. Betanews reports on the study:

Jacob Nielsen of the Nielsen Norman Group tested three different e-book methods -- the PC, the Kindle 2, and the -- and then compared them to reading a regular book. A short story by Ernest Hemigway was read by 24 different test subjects.

Nielsen found that those reading the e-book version were as much as ten percent slower than those who read the printed version. Those who read the story on the PC took even more time, and universally rated by participants as the worst way to read.

It does appear that the most readers have the hardest time reading books on a PC. It seems likely that we still like the idea of holding something in our hands when we are reading what we consider books. However, even holding an iPad or a Kindle can't compare to the experience of holding a book. And, apparently, our speed decreases when we are using an electronic screen, rather than reading "the real thing."

Explore further: Amazon to release free Kindle software for PC

Related Stories

Amazon to release free Kindle software for PC

October 22, 2009

(AP) -- Inc. is trying to get more people to buy the electronic books that are compatible with its Kindle gadget by offering free software for people to read them on a computer.

Amazon releasing Kindle software for Android

May 18, 2010

(AP) -- Inc. is hoping to snag even more customers for the electronic books it sells by releasing a version of its Kindle e-reader software for phones that use Google Inc.'s increasingly popular Android operating ...

Google to start selling electronic books

May 4, 2010

Google on Tuesday said it will soon begin selling electronic books that people can read on any Internet-connected device including Apple's hot-selling iPad tablet computers. buys Stanza e-book app maker Lexcycle

April 28, 2009

(AP) -- Kindle e-book retailer Inc. has purchased Lexcycle, a year-old company that makes the iPhone e-book application Stanza, in a move that ratchets up Amazon's presence in the electronic book market.

Amazon delivers Kindle books to PCs

November 10, 2009 on Tuesday released free software that lets people read the online retail titan's electronic Kindle books on personal computers.

Recommended for you

Samsung to disable Note 7 phones in recall effort

December 9, 2016

Samsung announced Friday it would disable its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones in the US market to force remaining owners to stop using the devices, which were recalled for safety reasons.

Swiss unveil stratospheric solar plane

December 7, 2016

Just months after two Swiss pilots completed a historic round-the-world trip in a Sun-powered plane, another Swiss adventurer on Wednesday unveiled a solar plane aimed at reaching the stratosphere.

Solar panels repay their energy 'debt': study

December 6, 2016

The climate-friendly electricity generated by solar panels in the past 40 years has all but cancelled out the polluting energy used to produce them, a study said Tuesday.


Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

1 / 5 (1) Jul 07, 2010
Then there's also the problem of what happens when you drop or sit on an e-reader. Or when you leave it in the hot car all day. Or when you want to read at the sandy beach. I don't think very many people would loan thier e-reader to a friend so that they can read their favorite book either. Not really a problem with novels, but the layout of pages is a problem with textbooks, since there's often pictures, maps and diagrams on one page while the description or key is on the opposite facing page. Oh and the final nail in the e-reader coffin for me is that a good old fashioned book will never run out of batteries in the middle of a long trip.

E-books will never replace the real thing. In fact, hard copy book sales continue to increase anually. It seems that people who use e-readers still buy paper books, and that rather than seeing people change from paper to electronic, what's happening is that people are just reading a lot more. That's according to book industry market data.
not rated yet Jul 12, 2010
At first, I was completely against the eBook, but then a friend of mine got me a gift certificate to an eBook and audio book website,, in which I purchased a few books, read them from my laptop, thought it was all right (still not the same as holding it in your hand). But then I asked her if I would be able to use her Nook just to try it out, and my mind completely changed after that. It was a great experience. I kept it for a week, and after that I went out and purchased my own Reader (Kindle). It's not a bad experience at all. In fact, it's amazing.
not rated yet Jul 13, 2010
Scanning pages looking to see if there is anything of interest is presumably impossible. I actually read very quickly when reading say a novel and I would be concerned that two pages a minute might mean I was waiting for the next screen to be laid out.

Anyway as Gswift writes there are many things that a book has to make it more attractive.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.