PDA

View Full Version : New Study: You Read Slower on Kindle, iPad than with Print



benbradley
07-06-2010, 09:44 PM
http://singularityhub.com/2010/07/06/new-study-you-read-slower-on-kindle-ipad-than-with-print/


New e-readers like the Kindle or the iBook app on the iPad may put an entire library in your hands, but they may also be slowing you down. Usability (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usability)guru Jakob Nielsen recently published his study on the reading speeds for those using printed books, the Kindle, and the iPad (http://www.useit.com/alertbox/ipad-kindle-reading.html). His results propose that users slow down when reading on electronic media – 6.2% slower for iBooks, 10.7% slower for Kindle. While that could be disconcerting for you hardcore literary enthusiasts out there, Nielsen suggests that these results are actually quite promising for the new technology. Even 10% slower is still pretty good. While they’ve yet to outshine print, new e-readers are getting better and seem destined to one day replace ink on paper.This is interesting to know, especially that the Kindle with its so-called "e-ink" technology, I thought it would beat the iPad. Of course there are several variables - higher resolution is undoubtedly better, and font choice is crucial as well. A badly-chosen font at higher resolution will likely result in slower reading than a good font at lower resolution, especially if it's hand-tweaked to the resolution and font size.

TheIT
07-06-2010, 09:54 PM
I haven't looked at the study, but I wonder how much of that slow-down is because of the "page turning" mechanism for Kindle. It takes it a moment to change the text to a new page, whereas print pages are always available.

Medievalist
07-06-2010, 09:58 PM
He looked at something like 27 users. It's not a study. It's an informal survey. There are large numbers of variables. For instance, the first generation Kindle is slower on screen draw than the current generations. There's also a potential speed hit if wifi is on, because the Kindle is polling all the time.

Plus, if they had a user like me with visual problems using a Kindle, well, yes, I will be reading much slower--because of me, not the Kindle.

Finally, speed reading is sorta pointless.

Soccer Mom
07-06-2010, 10:22 PM
I do read slower with my Kindle, but that's because I read it differently, not because it's somehow harder. I'm a terrible skimmer. I tend to jump around when reading paperbacks. I find that with my Kindle, I read each page as it is presented, as the novel was intended to be read. I'd say it's made me a more thoughtful reader.

And it doesn't take any longer for me to hit the "next page" than it does to physically turn a page. Actually, with my arthritis, I find it easier.

TheIT
07-06-2010, 10:30 PM
Hitting the next page button on Kindle doesn't take much time, but it does take time for the screen to refresh with the new page. It took me a while to get used to the dark "flash" whenever the text changed. The ability to adjust font size to something more comfortable to read is wonderful.

Agreed, reading slower doesn't seem like a problem to me, either.

Soccer Mom
07-06-2010, 10:33 PM
Hmm, mine barely flashes and has the new text or at least it seems that way. I honestly don't notice it. And I do love being able to size up text. My eyes are getting any younger.

ETA: just flicked on my Kindle and NOW I notice the page change flash. :ROFL:

Medievalist
07-06-2010, 11:57 PM
And it doesn't take any longer for me to hit the "next page" than it does to physically turn a page. Actually, with my arthritis, I find it easier.

I've been fascinated to see how many people on a variety of e-reading devices like the auto scrolls; they make me a little sea-sick.

Chante
07-07-2010, 12:50 AM
Yeah, that sample size is too small.

The study also didn't include the nook, which is the e-reader that I recently purchased. It very well may take me longer to read on it, because instead of clicking, I can swipe at the nook to change the page. Unfortunately, sometimes I swipe to quickly, too slowly, or forget that swiping won't work because the lower touch screen is on. (Yeah, I don't get that either.) Others have covered the page refresh time, but I just wanted to throw another possible issue out there.

Smish
07-07-2010, 01:03 AM
I do read more slowly, but it's a different sort of reading.

When I read a physical book, I usually dedicate a full day to nothing but reading. I park myself on a porch swing or in a cozy chair, and just read for enjoyment.

When I read iBooks, I'm only reading here and there, as I have time throughout the day -- between meetings, on the bus, etc.

I know lots of people can cuddle up with their e-reader and read a full book, but I haven't made it to that point, yet. :)

Shadow_Ferret
07-07-2010, 01:08 AM
This is so weird. I don't think I read any differently on my PC than I do with a real book. The only difference is, I can take my book EVERYWHERE I go and not worry about leaving it out on the blanket while I take a swim and coming back and finding it gone.

Jamesaritchie
07-07-2010, 05:57 PM
I have no doubt at all that this survey is accurate. It takes me forever to read a book on Kindle.

Elhrrah
07-07-2010, 06:22 PM
I read digital media slower than print; never tried it with digital paper though.

Reading on my computer, when my migraine isn't flaring, I average 150-200 wpm, while with paper I maintain a good 50 wpm above that. When I actually try to speed read, though, I can pull 900 wpm on either without any differences in eye strain or comprehension.

Amadan
07-07-2010, 06:33 PM
I have no doubt at all that this survey is accurate. It takes me forever to read a book on Kindle.

Whereas I have noticed no such slowdown on my Sony.

Grrarrgh
07-07-2010, 08:25 PM
I don't think I've noticed a per minute slow down on my Kindle, but I do notice that I take a longer period of time to read a book. I think it's because I do the same thing that Smish does. I tend to read the E-book in fits and starts rather than for several hours at a time. I'm trying to change that, but it's still the way it goes right now.

geardrops
07-07-2010, 10:32 PM
I feel like I read just as fast on my nook as I do with papers. Especially now that I have a feel for how long a page turn takes and I click to the next page before I've finished the one I'm on.

Jamesaritchie
07-08-2010, 12:25 AM
Whereas I have noticed no such slowdown on my Sony.

Different strokes. It takes me more than twice as long to read a book on Kindle, and I have no idea why. I simply can't concentrate as long or as well.

Dave.C.Robinson
07-08-2010, 03:06 AM
Right now I'm reading a book on my Sony Reader, the last book I read was on my Moto Droid, the one before that on my laptop. I haven't read one on paper in a while. I've started a few, but haven't finished that many.

Personally I do find I read a little slower on my current devices and I think I know why. I normally bump up the font size on my Sony, so there's less text on a page. I'm reading in smaller chunks. As for the Droid, it's screen is very small - so there's not much text on there even though the resolution is higher than that of the Sony.

Kalyke
07-08-2010, 08:56 PM
Hmmm. Interesting. Do you think a lot of paperback book readers inadvertently "skim?" I find I sometimes skip paragraphs that bore me and move on. It could also be a learning curve. As an older person i do not manage a computer as well as some kids who have had them since day one. e-readers have not been around very long.

I still think that the benifits of cheaper books, and not as much trees killed, or paper dumped in land fills is worth slowing down for a few seconds on an e-reader.

Jamesaritchie
07-09-2010, 02:20 AM
Hmmm. Interesting. Do you think a lot of paperback book readers inadvertently "skim?" I find I sometimes skip paragraphs that bore me and move on. It could also be a learning curve. As an older person i do not manage a computer as well as some kids who have had them since day one. e-readers have not been around very long.

I still think that the benifits of cheaper books, and not as much trees killed, or paper dumped in land fills is worth slowing down for a few seconds on an e-reader.

I don't skim, and if the learning curve is still going uphill after thirty years of reading on one kind of screen or another, it's way too steep for me.

E-rederrs haven't been aorund long, but computers have.

I don;t think it has anything to do with the quality of the screen, or a learning curve. I see two problems here. 1. I think too few people read many print books these days, and they don't even know there is a problem. 2. Most people have lost the ability to concentrate for longer than a nanosecond. Or never developed the ability in the first place.

kuwisdelu
07-09-2010, 02:25 AM
That's good news to me.

It'll force people to savor every word and sentence, taste them, rather than blast through a page-turner and ignore the prose.

scarletpeaches
07-09-2010, 02:28 AM
Yes, that's exactly what I do when I read fast.

Wait; no it isn't.

Fast =/= reading comprehension.

kuwisdelu
07-09-2010, 02:30 AM
What does reading comprehension have to do with it?

Gale Haut
07-10-2010, 06:40 AM
That's good news to me.

It'll force people to savor every word and sentence, taste them, rather than blast through a page-turner and ignore the prose.

That's how I feel sometimes when I'm reading the Kindle. Because there are fewer words to a page, I find myself focusing more on minutia. I think it's interesting and not necessarily a bad thing. Though, I do prefer to read a hard copy every once and awhile.

KTC
07-10-2010, 02:40 PM
I have heard this. People who are against the ereader concept have told me about this as I sat reading my ereader.

Guess what.

I'm the SLOWEST reader in the world. Honestly. When my son was 11 he surpassed me in reading speed. For my whole life this has been SO frustrating for me!!!!! You wouldn't believe how agonizing it is to have a reading list 11entybillion strong when you can only read about one book a month.


Then along came the Kobo ereader.

I am reading probably about 50-60% faster than I used to. I have heard this study and I laugh in its face.

All people are different. For some reason I can ZOOM through books on my Kobo. I'm talking two books a week. I am constantly clicking that button. I think with books it was mind over matter for me. And for my entire life I didn't realize this. I would agonize if I picked up a book like The Stand or Atlas Shrugged...because I knew I would not finish it before the next president was elected. With the Kobo I don't 'see' the size of the book. I have it on the biggest font...so the pages whiz by. And before I know it...I'm done another book.

No study is unanimous. The ereader has finally made me into something I've been dying to be for eternity...A FAST READER. I may never pick up a paper book again. I WAS MADE FOR THE EREADER.