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Hanson
08-15-2014, 02:46 AM
Interesting research



"a forthcoming paper by researchers in France and Norway suggests that there may be some cognitive drawbacks to reading even short works of literature on a screen."

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/14/arts/reading-literature-on-screen-a-price-for-convenience.html

frimble3
08-15-2014, 03:56 AM
The 'time and temporality' stuff is interesting, that recalling when things happen and in what sequence seems to be the problem. When I read an e-book, I seem to lose a sense of 'flow', the connection between the pages. It's as though each page is a separate object, and I find myself flipping back and forth between pages, with the vague feeling that I've missed something. As a workaround, I read e-books on my computer, where I can fake the appearance of a two-page spread, which helps. I suspect that with a paper book the actual bulk of the pages provides a constant reminder of where I am, and how far I've come. (Haven't we all, at some time, studied the amount of book left to read and figured whether the story is about to wrap up, or if there's room for one more twist?)
Also, as the page gradually turns, there's a few seconds while the mind adjusts, carrying the memory of the last few words over to the rest of the sentence.

RikWriter
08-15-2014, 04:13 AM
Yeah, I don't believe it. Sorry.

Dennis E. Taylor
08-15-2014, 04:29 AM
My gut feel is that this is more a matter of what you're used to. I'm sure that users of quill pens felt that ball-points would cause writers to lose connection with their writing as well.

If you grow up with it, you learn different cues.

ishtar'sgate
08-15-2014, 04:53 AM
Interesting study but nothing definitive can come from one, small study. If their findings keep reoccurring, though, then they'll have something worth considering.

frimble3
08-15-2014, 04:54 AM
My gut feel is that this is more a matter of what you're used to. I'm sure that users of quill pens felt that ball-points would cause writers to lose connection with their writing as well.

If you grow up with it, you learn different cues.

This is very true. A generation raised with e-readers will, as you say, learn different cues. Much as scroll-readers had to learn that 'page-flipping' thing. :)
We dinosaurs will eventually make room for those pesky mammals.

Bufkus
08-15-2014, 05:11 AM
Honestly the study results are irrelevant to one's enjoyment of a novel.
I've been reading exclusively on eReaders/tablets for the last 6+ years and it hasn't affected my enjoyment of reading. It ultimately doesn't matter if I'm less likely to remember plot sequence as a result of my preferred medium for reading.

NinjaFingers
08-15-2014, 05:12 AM
I haven't found that I remember plots less on ereaders than paperbacks, but I still prefer paperbacks.

ElaineA
08-15-2014, 06:03 AM
The 'time and temporality' stuff is interesting, that recalling when things happen and in what sequence seems to be the problem. When I read an e-book, I seem to lose a sense of 'flow', the connection between the pages. It's as though each page is a separate object, and I find myself flipping back and forth between pages, with the vague feeling that I've missed something. As a workaround, I read e-books on my computer, where I can fake the appearance of a two-page spread, which helps. I suspect that with a paper book the actual bulk of the pages provides a constant reminder of where I am, and how far I've come. (Haven't we all, at some time, studied the amount of book left to read and figured whether the story is about to wrap up, or if there's room for one more twist?)
Also, as the page gradually turns, there's a few seconds while the mind adjusts, carrying the memory of the last few words over to the rest of the sentence.

This describes my experience exactly and, as has been said, I suspect it's a "what are you used to" thing. I read fluffy books on an e-reader, but if it's a book I really need to focus on, it's all paper for me.

Roxxsmom
08-15-2014, 06:38 AM
There's some research that suggests students retain less when they read e-texts than when they are exposed to the same material in paper format.

Not sure if it's as big a deal for fiction. It hasn't bothered me terribly reading novels on e-books, though I'm not reading for retention there anyway. I have found that novels in general hold my attention less well than they once did, but that may be because I always have a stack of things to crit for my writing group friends, and of course, my own writing to get to as well. I'm always impressed by writers who can maintain a high writing output and read 50 or more books a year. It takes me much longer to finish a book than it used to. Some of it's that I don't even read the same way I once did. I'm always marking pages or making notes about how other authors handle things.

Buffysquirrel
08-15-2014, 05:04 PM
These results are consistent with the hypothesis that reading an ebook is different from reading a paperback. No doubt people will develop coping strategies. I'd have thought page numbers would be a start ;).

KTC
08-15-2014, 05:11 PM
Whatever.

The sky is always falling in one way or another.

PS: I have 3 ereaders which I NEVER EVER USE. I read exclusively on my smartphone. I don't read ereaders or paper.

KMTolan
08-15-2014, 05:33 PM
I'm with the "not buying the study" crowd. Since I started selling download cards (e-book version) alongside my paperbacks at conventions, I've sold more e-books.

Kerry

Myrealana
08-15-2014, 05:43 PM
It's an interesting idea.

If it's true, then the more intriguing question to ask is "how do we fix it?" Because e-readers aren't going anywhere.

tjwriter
08-15-2014, 05:53 PM
I read almost exclusively on my nook, and here lately I've probably retained less, but I'm attributing more of that to exhaustion and chasing the kids than because I'm reading on an ereader.

I actually find it more convenient to re-read my ebooks than paper ones and rather than buy new ones, I'll often read my favorites all over again.

benbradley
08-15-2014, 06:18 PM
These results are consistent with the hypothesis that reading an ebook is different from reading a paperback. No doubt people will develop coping strategies. I'd have thought page numbers would be a start ;).
I read PDF files on my computer, and there's a scroll bar on the right that give me a good idea of how big the document is and where I am in it. Even without that, I don't see a big difference between a screen and paper.

Whatever.

The sky is always falling in one way or another.

PS: I have 3 ereaders which I NEVER EVER USE. I read exclusively on my smartphone. I don't read ereaders or paper.
This is what I thought the article would be saying, based on on the thread subject. E-readers will disappear into smartphones (which are getting increasing screen resolution), just as cameras, mp3 players and other doodads have.

Captcha
08-15-2014, 06:21 PM
This describes my experience exactly and, as has been said, I suspect it's a "what are you used to" thing. I read fluffy books on an e-reader, but if it's a book I really need to focus on, it's all paper for me.

This is me exactly. 'Heavier' books need to be print, but fluff is e-convenient!

And I agree about training ourselves to different formats. When I first started trying to listen to audiobooks I REALLY had trouble focusing and following. But I had a long commute so I thought it was worth the effort, and now I'm finding I can follow increasingly complex stories and concepts in audio format. Practice!

EMaree
08-15-2014, 06:24 PM
Aye, count me in with the people who aren't buying this study. I read in paperback and ebook roughly equally, and it doesn't effect my enjoyment of the story. It's just a medium.

It's a bit like saying a blu-ray movie is more enjoyable than a DVD. Sure, I'll notice the visual differences, but it's the story I'll get wrapped up in.

Old Hack
08-15-2014, 06:28 PM
Yeah, I don't believe it. Sorry.

From what I can see, though, the study was carried out appropriately and these were its findings. You might not agree with it: but you're just one person, and not representative of readers in general.

And that's the weakness of such studies. They show trends; they don't show how everyone thinks or feels.


My gut feel is that this is more a matter of what you're used to. I'm sure that users of quill pens felt that ball-points would cause writers to lose connection with their writing as well.

If you grow up with it, you learn different cues.

I agree you learn different cues depending on what you're brought up with: but that doesn't mean we can discount the study entirely for people who are used to such technologies.

There might still be effects on technology-familiar readers; and not all readers are familiar with the technology. What the study is showing is how a broad sweep of readers use such technology, not how individuals do.


There's some research that suggests students retain less when they read e-texts than when they are exposed to the same material in paper format.

Several studies have shown this. Just as several studies have demonstrated some interesting connections between how removed writers are from their work, and the work which results. Using a pen and paper is a very direct connection; using a screen and keyboard is less directly connected; individual writers produce very different works when they work in different ways. It's very interesting.


I'm with the "not buying the study" crowd. Since I started selling download cards (e-book version) alongside my paperbacks at conventions, I've sold more e-books.

Lots of people buy e-books, for all sorts of reasons. That doesn't mean that the study is incorrect, as far as I can see. Unless I'm missing something here.

jjdebenedictis
08-15-2014, 06:36 PM
The 'time and temporality' stuff is interesting, that recalling when things happen and in what sequence seems to be the problem. When I read an e-book, I seem to lose a sense of 'flow', the connection between the pages. It's as though each page is a separate object, and I find myself flipping back and forth between pages, with the vague feeling that I've missed something. When I was in grad school, I noticed I had comprehension issues when I tried to read a scientific paper on a screen. It was the same information, but I understood it much better if I printed it out to read it.

I read a heck of a lot online at this point, so I really wonder if I'd be better at it now, or if I'd still find it easier to absorb information off paper. (For the record, I've never tried an ebook, but I've got family members who have been using them for a few years quite happily.)

Shadow_Ferret
08-15-2014, 06:47 PM
I find it interesting that everyone js so defensive, like the study is deliberately trying to kill ereaders.

The eye/brain connection is very complex. Print on paper is solid. The eye can focus on it with little difficulting making the translation to your brain relatively seamless. But viewing something on a screen that flickers even if you don't notice it has to have some sort of effect upon what we see and how the brain interprets it.

Maybe further detailed studies will show computer learning isn't the way to go. Maybe those studies will show this was bunk and there's no difference. I think I'll just take it with a grain of salt and pick up my fountain pen, I've got a story to finish writing.

Dennis E. Taylor
08-15-2014, 06:53 PM
I agree you learn different cues depending on what you're brought up with: but that doesn't mean we can discount the study entirely for people who are used to such technologies.


True, but given the somewhat sensationalist thread title, I'd have to argue that the study is more applicable to us old fossils, and the new generation of whippersnappers will be just fine with e-readers.

Hapax Legomenon
08-15-2014, 06:55 PM
These results are consistent with the hypothesis that reading an ebook is different from reading a paperback. No doubt people will develop coping strategies. I'd have thought page numbers would be a start ;).

Your ereader does not have page numbers? Weird.

Shadow_Ferret
08-15-2014, 07:26 PM
I remember in the infancy of CGI, I had trouble focusing on the CGI objects. "The Last Starfighter" for instance, I could "see" the ships, but they never really registered on my brain beyond a mental blur and I certainly couldn't describe them. I wonder if that's the same phenomenon they're researching here?

virtue_summer
08-15-2014, 08:45 PM
I really don't see a big issue here. According to the article:

In most respects, there was no significant difference between the Kindle readers and the paper readers: the emotional measures were roughly the same, and both groups of readers responded almost equally to questions dealing with the setting of the story, the characters and other plot details.So there were only two differences. Remembering plot sequences and timing. I don't see what the problem is for most reading of fiction here. How many times after you've finished a work of fiction do you have to recall the exact timing of things in the story and the exact sequence of events, without having the text to refer to in order to check? It's interesting to know if there's a difference, but this isn't the kind of difference that would make me worry.

Latina Bunny
08-15-2014, 08:55 PM
I find it interesting that everyone js so defensive, like the study is deliberately trying to kill ereaders.


It might be because of the title of the OP's thread "The Death of E-Readers?". Feels like an anti-ereader kind of tone.


Regarding the study, I think there be might be something to it. Whenever I needed to read nonfiction for research purposes, I tend to prefer print books over reading on a screen. I tend to study and remember it better on print than in electronic form. I also highlight and take notes non-electronically (is that a word?).

When I write with pencil/pen on paper, I tend to remember better, and my writing flows faster. I wonder if it's because I am physically writing it down or it's a tactile thing?

BTW, I love both my ereader and print books. Which I prefer depends on the genre or if it's non-fiction. I usually prefer the feel of print for non-fiction and MG fiction, but I love ereaders for those big (fiction) doorstopppers.

Buffysquirrel
08-15-2014, 10:02 PM
Your ereader does not have page numbers? Weird.

Mine does, but Goodreads had to add a percentage completed for people reading ebooks, so I assumed this was not universal.

Captcha
08-15-2014, 10:24 PM
Mine does, but Goodreads had to add a percentage completed for people reading ebooks, so I assumed this was not universal.

So can you adjust the font size on your e-reader? Do the page numbers change according to the actual e-reader 'page' you're on (so the same point might be page 20 with a large font, page 10 with a smaller font) or are the pages static to the words, based, I assume, on a print version of the book?

(My e-reader doesn't have page numbers)

gothicangel
08-15-2014, 10:38 PM
When I was in grad school, I noticed I had comprehension issues when I tried to read a scientific paper on a screen. It was the same information, but I understood it much better if I printed it out to read it.

I read a heck of a lot online at this point, so I really wonder if I'd be better at it now, or if I'd still find it easier to absorb information off paper. (For the record, I've never tried an ebook, but I've got family members who have been using them for a few years quite happily.)

I agree with this. When I use e-books/journals I have to do some note making to process the arguments before I can disseminate it correctly.

gothicangel
08-15-2014, 10:40 PM
It might be because of the title of the OP's thread "The Death of E-Readers?". Feels like an anti-ereader kind of tone.




Yet it's okay to write X number of articles about the death of print/novels/publishers?

Shadow_Ferret
08-15-2014, 10:49 PM
Considering the story had absolutely nothing to do with the death of ereaders and was merely a study about comprehension between ereaders and hard copy, I do think the OP was trying to get an emotional response.

benbradley
08-15-2014, 11:01 PM
I find it interesting that everyone js so defensive, like the study is deliberately trying to kill ereaders.

The eye/brain connection is very complex. Print on paper is solid. The eye can focus on it with little difficulting making the translation to your brain relatively seamless. But viewing something on a screen that flickers even if you don't notice it has to have some sort of effect upon what we see and how the brain interprets it.
But screens nowadays do NOT flicker - CRT monitors were notorious for it, and the result was a higher scan rates of 70 to 80 Hz or higher to make it well above the flicker detection rate of the eye, vs. the then broacast television standard of 60Hz interlaced. I've still got a CRT monitor or two sitting around, and I can instantly tell whether the scan rate is 60Hz or 75Hz. But either one, I wag my finger in front of it and I see several distinct shadows of my finger. On modern flatscreen monitors I see a constant blur, indicating "always on" light. This is a great improvement over CRT displays, especially the earlier ones of the Apple ][ (essentially an old analog TV display) and IBM CGA (low refresh rate AND a low-res color CRT screen, kind of like the first Pac-Man video games).

But admittedly there are still other differences between modern screens and print that may be relevant.

Maybe further detailed studies will show computer learning isn't the way to go. Maybe those studies will show this was bunk and there's no difference. I think I'll just take it with a grain of salt and pick up my fountain pen, I've got a story to finish writing.
I find it fascinating that it may be different for different people. I can't wait to read exactly what it is and why.

I remember in the infancy of CGI, I had trouble focusing on the CGI objects. "The Last Starfighter" for instance, I could "see" the ships, but they never really registered on my brain beyond a mental blur and I certainly couldn't describe them. I wonder if that's the same phenomenon they're researching here?
There are certainly a lot of subtleties involved in making a bitmaped image look "real" - not just increasing the resolution, but anti-aliasing of various possible types, something "Last Starfighter" might not have had.

A quick look brings up a video game example from 2009 - article here:
http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-saboteur-aa-blog-entry
and one of the two example pics:
http://images.eurogamer.net/articles//a/8/6/7/8/5/1/Saboteur_Aliasing_001.jpg.jpg

Roxxsmom
08-15-2014, 11:05 PM
My e-reader (nook) and the nook and kindle apps on my ipad both include page counts, indicating my current page in the book as well as the total. However, the page counts don't seem to correspond to either the pages as displayed on the screen in the reader's "default" font, or the actual page count of either the hardcover or paperback versions of the book.

The thing that drives me nuts is that no one's thought to provide the actual word count of an ebook, or to make an app that lets you calculate it. As a writer, I really am curious about what the actual word counts are of the fantasy that's being published right now. Page count is easy for publishers to manipulate in any medium.

Captcha
08-15-2014, 11:10 PM
My e-reader (nook) and the nook and kindle apps on my ipad both include page counts, indicating my current page in the book as well as the total. However, the page counts don't seem to correspond to either the pages as displayed on the screen in the reader's "default" font, or the actual page count of either the hardcover or paperback versions of the book.

The thing that drives me nuts is that no one's thought to provide the actual word count of an ebook, or to make an app that lets you calculate it. As a writer, I really am curious about what the actual word counts are of the fantasy that's being published right now. Page count is easy for publishers to manipulate in any medium.

Won't help for fantasy, but one of my favourite things about All Romance eBooks is that they include the number of words right there in the product description. Maybe there's an SF/F eBook retailer out there that does the same?

RikWriter
08-15-2014, 11:35 PM
I find it interesting that everyone js so defensive, like the study is deliberately trying to kill ereaders.



Has nothing to do with being defensive, has to do with being skeptical of "studies" like this. It's childishly simple to construct this sort of study to put out whatever results you want it to. I don't buy the results and won't until I see them duplicated by someone else...ideally more than one someone elses.

Old Hack
08-15-2014, 11:45 PM
Considering the story had absolutely nothing to do with the death of ereaders and was merely a study about comprehension between ereaders and hard copy, I do think the OP was trying to get an emotional response.

I think the OP has a future in article writing. Headlines and titles which grab people's attention are really difficult!


Has nothing to do with being defensive, has to do with being skeptical of "studies" like this. It's childishly simple to construct this sort of study to put out whatever results you want it to. I don't buy the results and won't until I see them duplicated by someone else...ideally more than one someone elses.

Quite often it's not the study which is wrong, it's the reporting of it.

Medievalist
08-15-2014, 11:46 PM
My gut feel is that this is more a matter of what you're used to. I'm sure that users of quill pens felt that ball-points would cause writers to lose connection with their writing as well.

If you grow up with it, you learn different cues.

Yes. Also the study has a number of problems in terms of methodology.

I think we'll need to wait another ten years, at least, before we look at the data in a deeply meaningful way.

There's always a knee-jerk reaction to cultural changes around technology.

Plato on Writing:



If men learn this, it will implant forgetfulness in their souls; they will cease to exercise memory because they rely on that which is written, calling things to remembrance no longer from within themselves, but by means of external marks. What you have discovered is a recipe not for memory, but for reminder. And it is no true wisdom that you offer your disciples, but only its semblance, for by telling them of many things without teaching them you will make them seem to know much, while for the most part they know nothing, and as men filled, not with wisdom, but with the conceit of wisdom, they will be a burden to their fellows.

One of the primary differences between paper and digital text is that paper is locative, that is, you have an easily identifiable reference if everyone is looking at the same paper/version/edition of a book.

When you're teaching Jane Eyre, it's very useful to tell students to look at page 34 in a paper edition.

Even when we're all using the same digital edition, I can't do that. Your page 34 is likely not going to be mine.

Citation is tricky.

Sometimes there's a price; you gain some, you lose some, but as with writing and memory, I don't see paper vs screen as natural enemies or mutually exclusive.

Hapax Legomenon
08-15-2014, 11:56 PM
So can you adjust the font size on your e-reader? Do the page numbers change according to the actual e-reader 'page' you're on (so the same point might be page 20 with a large font, page 10 with a smaller font) or are the pages static to the words, based, I assume, on a print version of the book?

(My e-reader doesn't have page numbers)

You know what, I adjusted the font and line spacing on my ereader and found that adjusting the page numbers actually do not change... which makes sense as to why the number does not necessarily change every time I tap.

alexaherself
08-16-2014, 01:25 AM
I find it interesting that everyone is so defensive, like the study is deliberately trying to kill ereaders.

That will perhaps be partly because of the title chosen for this thread.

Even if the study's entirely valid (which seems likely?), and even if it's reliably reproducible (which seems possible?), I still don't quite see how you get from there to "the end of eReaders"?

jeffo20
08-16-2014, 01:42 AM
... several studies have demonstrated some interesting connections between how removed writers are from their work, and the work which results. Using a pen and paper is a very direct connection; using a screen and keyboard is less directly connected; individual writers produce very different works when they work in different ways. It's very interesting. Not trying to derail the thread, but do you have any citations on this, I'd love it if you would PM me with them. I find the idea fascinating.

Meanwhile, I won't call the study bogus, but I will use that word for the thread title. And I'm surprised no one called Hanson out for dropping a link without any further commentary on it beyond, "Interesting research."

Bufkus
08-16-2014, 03:44 AM
Yet it's okay to write X number of articles about the death of print/novels/publishers?

Absolutely fine. Paper is going to go the same way that Music CDs, Movie DVDs, and physical video games went/are going.

50 years from now, nobody will be reading physical books and they'll only be found in libraries.

Buffysquirrel
08-16-2014, 03:57 AM
So can you adjust the font size on your e-reader? Do the page numbers change according to the actual e-reader 'page' you're on (so the same point might be page 20 with a large font, page 10 with a smaller font) or are the pages static to the words, based, I assume, on a print version of the book?

(My e-reader doesn't have page numbers)

If I increase the size of the font, I stay on the same page for longer. So clearly 'page' has some fixed value for the reader. These are .epubs I'm reading, if that makes a difference.

(there will now be a short pause while I figure out how to reset the font)

Latina Bunny
08-16-2014, 04:04 AM
Absolutely fine. Paper is going to go the same way that Music CDs, Movie DVDs, and physical video games went/are going.

50 years from now, nobody will be reading physical books and they'll only be found in libraries.

...I'm still finding physical copies of Music CDs, DVDs, and video games to this day. And print books, of course.

Today, I was at Gamestop, FYE, Barnes and Noble in my local mall, and I still see lots of people buying physical copies of all of the above.

benbradley
08-16-2014, 05:30 AM
Absolutely fine. Paper is going to go the same way that Music CDs, Movie DVDs, and physical video games went/are going.

50 years from now, nobody will be reading physical books and they'll only be found in libraries.
This (and similar articles) has some surprising info regarding music sales:
http://theweek.com/article/index/254901/the-baffling-revival-of-the-vinyl-lp

While some things have definitely gone away (8-track cartridges, 78RPM records that require the big stylus), others have held on at some small but profitable volume for those who produce them. Printed books may go the way of LPs in that they effectively disappear and drop to a small percentage of the market, but I can see where authors and some fans will always want a print run's worth of a new book, even if ebooks drop far below Amazon's $9.99 or whatever they're trying to fix the price at. Unlike an ebook or a download, a physical book can become a collectible object.

Now in 50 years it COULD get so bad that when someone wants to read a physical book they get confused because so many will have never done so before, but maybe Youtube will still be around, or whatever serves up the equivalent of today's videos will still have these available to help the book reader of the future (if they can understand our quaint early-21st-Century word usage):
Medeival edition (with modern English subtitles):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQHX-SjgQvQ
Modern edition:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=az1JRmmVxgA

Old Hack
08-16-2014, 12:09 PM
Absolutely fine. Paper is going to go the same way that Music CDs, Movie DVDs, and physical video games went/are going.

50 years from now, nobody will be reading physical books and they'll only be found in libraries.

In fifty years there will still be areas of the world where technology can't reach; many people don't have easy access to an electricity supply; and technology changes, so digital files which are accessible now might well be obsolete by then. Print books will still work well under those conditions. I am not so sure that they'll have been abandoned while so many people will still need them.

Ralyks
08-16-2014, 04:27 PM
They took 50 graduate students and divided them into two groups. They had 25 read eReaders and 25 read print. This is a small sample, but it's also different people reading on eReaders and print. How do we know the ones reading print wouldn't have been just aware of the sequence of events on an eReader, and the ones reading an eReader just as unaware of the sequence in print? It doesn't sound like a very controlled study.
That said, online reading experience, with all of its attendant hyperlinks and skipping around and highlights, has in general probably trained the human mind to read less "deeply," to scan for information more. The current generations has been shown to have larger reading comprehension problems than the past generation.

Hapax Legomenon
08-16-2014, 06:08 PM
Actually would think that adding hyperlinks to especially academic books in digital form would help. Most academic work on computers are just scanned PDFs and the like. When most people try to read an academic work deeply they're flipping the pages around while in most digital formats that's very difficult. I think if people are going to make resource books they're going to have to start building them more like wikis.

benbradley
08-16-2014, 11:52 PM
Actually would think that adding hyperlinks to especially academic books in digital form would help. Most academic work on computers are just scanned PDFs and the like. When most people try to read an academic work deeply they're flipping the pages around while in most digital formats that's very difficult. I think if people are going to make resource books they're going to have to start building them more like wikis.
There's the idea of opening different areas of the file in different windows. Many programming editors can do this with text files. For a pdf file, make a copy and open the copy in a second window. Make as many copies and open as many windows as needed.

This is one thing that makes big screens and multiple screens really handy.

kuwisdelu
08-17-2014, 12:00 AM
There's the idea of opening different areas of the file in different windows. Many programming editors can do this with text files. For a pdf file, make a copy and open the copy in a second window. Make as many copies and open as many windows as needed.

This is one thing that makes big screens and multiple screens really handy.

Skim is a PDF viewer that offers split-pane viewing. I don't know why it isn't a more common feature for PDF viewers.

redfalcon
08-17-2014, 01:20 AM
It would be interesting to see if the age of the ones studied mattered and if it changed over time. I think for me the claim is true, but it could just be my mind slipping.

Laer Carroll
08-17-2014, 07:10 AM
Doom-and-gloom headlines like this one get people stirred up, but usually they're just tricks to get wider readership for an author.

As for this "report," it sounds to me like total nonsense. The availability of books in different formats will inevitably effect us, but I doubt if in this way. More likely the ever-increasing number of formats will open up books to wider readership & more engagement in the contents than restrict it.

JRTroughton
08-17-2014, 06:47 PM
I can't see eReaders going anywhere unless it's proven that the eInk is slowly turning our retinas into milk or something.

DreamWeaver
08-17-2014, 09:15 PM
I'm with a previous poster. I thought the thread title meant that dedicated e-readers are giving way to tablets and smartphones. I love my Sony Reader--it has THE BEST internal dictionaries (17 of them, in all sorts of languages)--but I read books almost exclusively on my iPad and iPhone now, as I always have one or the other with me.

Anyone want to buy a Sony Daily Edition Reader? :D

JustSarah
08-19-2014, 01:37 AM
ereader or not doesn't matter, you can still underline. Can't say the same for movies, though I suppose there is note taking.

Hanson
08-21-2014, 03:00 AM
I think the OP has a future in article writing. Headlines and titles which grab people's attention are really difficult!




Thank you.

'Twasn't easy.

Don't really feel it was 'sensationalist' as such, as i think someone mentioned. more eye catching than anything.


I agree with Mr Fribble and one or two others. It's no biggy, mainly a usage issue, which will be accommodated in time by Kindle etc. Main thing is the core elements (emotional response etc) tween eReaders and paper remain equal.

Medievalist
08-21-2014, 03:05 AM
In fifty years there will still be areas of the world where technology can't reach; many people don't have easy access to an electricity supply; and technology changes, so digital files which are accessible now might well be obsolete by then. Print books will still work well under those conditions. I am not so sure that they'll have been abandoned while so many people will still need them.

I think the printed codex book is here for several centuries.


A carefully made book has a better archival life than any extant digital media.
It requires no external power source.
It is readily portable.

Hanson
08-21-2014, 03:06 AM
I'm with a previous poster. I thought the thread title meant that dedicated e-readers are giving way to tablets and smartphones.
I actually can't remember the exact title for this thread.

Was it changed? I dunno.

anyway, it's a good topic for discussion as eReaders are here to stay.

i hope scientist continue to look at this and similar technology - it's important that it's safe of course, but also that it continues.

Hanson
08-21-2014, 03:09 AM
I think the printed codex book is here for several centuries.


A carefully made book has a better archival life than any extant digital media.
It requires no external power source.
It is readily portable.


Yes. Indeed, some of the dead sea scrolls and similar have survived this long with 'basic' preservation technology.

all good, as long as it serves human need.

Laer Carroll
08-21-2014, 05:34 AM
At both NASA and Boeing I was tasked to work on a committee to do a five-year forecast for the company. They paid me for two weeks plus any travel expenses needed at one company, and four weeks plus travel on the other. So this is a semi-pro's perspective.

First, every system always has pluses and minuses. This certainly applies to printed books and electronic books. For them the pros and cons of each tend to be complementary.


________________________

Briefly, ebooks are highly portable; you can put thousands of books on one device. Printed books require no power or special device and are sturdier.

Ebooks allow you to do sophisticated processing of the text, such as instant dictionary and thesaurus and encyclopedia lookup, and posting of favorites and comments on social media. Printed books offer a more ergonomic experience because of centuries of trial and error and careful thought. (Ebooks are improving in this regard but still have a way to go.)

And so on.


________________________

Special-purpose ereaders and multi-purpose ereaders similarly have their pluses and minuses, and tend to be complementary. Single-purpose devices tend to be much cheaper and sturdier and last longer on a charge. Multi-purpose devices offer a more ergonomic reading experience and can do many more functions than otherwise, because they are powerful computers.

There is much technological research to make these devices cheaper and more powerful. This will speed the introduction of them into the poorer parts of the world, as they've done with cell- and satphones, and give the providers a wider market. (I foresee the day (not very near!) when the cheapest ereaders can be given away the way junk mail is today, and every household has dozens lying around.)

But print tech is advancing too, and has been for more than a century. For the same price "pbooks" today are larger, sturdier, and more flexible in their content than in past decades. Also, printers are becoming smaller, faster, cheaper, and deliver ever-better quality, which allows smaller print runs to be more economical. Print-on-demand is becoming a viable publishing method, though it still has a good way to go.

BOTTOM LINE: Literacy is evolving and growing in numbers and quality all over the world. It is in no danger of slowing down, much less dying.

juniper
08-22-2014, 04:16 PM
I'm on vacation and have been using an e-reader. The Nook with glow light so I could read in the dark. It's been nice to have it. I loaded up some books before I left because I was going to a place w/o good internet connections.

What I miss about the paper books is the tactile pleasure of the pages. Plus with paper books if I'm looking back to find a particular part, I can remember what side it was on ( left or right page) and what part of the page. "I read that about 1/3 of the way through, left side, last paragraph on page." No way to do that on e-reader.

I'll probably use a mixture of paper and e-books for a long time. No right/wrong - just different circumstances.

bearilou
08-22-2014, 05:27 PM
YOU'LL GET MY NOOK WHEN YOU PRY IT FROM MY COLD, DEAD HANDS.

Buffysquirrel
08-23-2014, 01:14 AM
I'm on vacation and have been using an e-reader. The Nook with glow light so I could read in the dark.

That one looked really nice but unfortunately finances meant I had to buy a lesser model. Mostly I use it to read my WIPs and betas from friends anyway.

juniper
08-24-2014, 01:05 AM
That one looked really nice

The Nook was my second choice. I'd really prefer to have a Kobo, the Aura, which has better software than the Nook, WiFI, and there's no bezel on the rim, so it's easy to use all part of the touchscreen. I have trouble getting my fingertip into the corner edge of the Nook, to change settings etc. And it has the light for reading in the dark. It's a bit more expensive but I like the design.

Kobo Aura is here: http://www.kobo.com/koboaura#overview

Problem is Kobo's customer service sucks big time. It's been a problem for a long time, and apparently there's no change in sight. At least the service for USA is bad. Some other countries seem to have it better, from what I've read in reviews online.

The Nook has in-store customer service plus good online chat service. So, I'll probably stick with the Nook for now. It worked well on vacation. I was glad to have it.

DreamWeaver
08-24-2014, 04:05 AM
Yes, I contacted Kobo customer service for help transferring my Sony Reader library to my Kobo library, as Sony hadn't sent me the link they promised and Kobo required. Kobo's reply was basically "sucks to be you."

ETA: So now I go to iBooks first when I want an ebook...neener, neener, Kobo.

Komnena
08-25-2014, 06:15 AM
Sorry to hear about the problems, Dreamweaver. They don't speak well for Sony.
For what it's worth it won't be long before Christmas sales. Last Christmas I bought a Nook Glow Light for fifty dollars. Amazon will also have sales.

Hapax Legomenon
08-25-2014, 07:33 PM
A few months after I bought my nook simple it stopped working due to a known problem. I sent it back to Barnes and Noble and they sent me a new one that's been working great every since.

Nook runs both Barnes and Noble's DRM and Adobe DRM, if that's important to you.

Devil Ledbetter
08-25-2014, 10:21 PM
I have a Kindle which I use frequently, and I also still read printed books. If I'm thinking about a book I read a while back, I often can't accurately remember whether I read it on the Kindle or read the printed version. So the idea that there is some Cognitive Big Difference between the two just seems silly and maybe even a bit hysterical to me.

Medievalist
08-25-2014, 10:46 PM
Yes, I contacted Kobo customer service for help transferring my Sony Reader library to my Kobo library, as Sony hadn't sent me the link they promised and Kobo required. Kobo's reply was basically "sucks to be you."

Make sure you check your junk or spam folders. I'd also do a search for the word Sony.

And if you have Web support for your email, check on the Web as well.

Email can be spam filtered before it arrives on your computer, as well as after.

Once!
08-26-2014, 12:48 PM
There are several different elements here - the study, the headlines and our reactions to it.

When I first read about this in online newspapers (Guardian and Telegraph), my first reaction was that the study was probably flawed. It felt like an attack piece. The logic is "I believe in X. Here is some highly selective evidence that X may be true. Therefore everyone should believe in X."

And if the study wasn't flawed I wanted it to be. I like e-readers. I own several on different devices. So I am pre-disposed to defend them against attack.

But when I read a bit more deeply, it seems that the study may well be genuine. There could be some issues with it - for example, it's a small sample size and I heard (second-hand) that most of the people in the tests hadn't used e-readers. But apart from that it seemed a pretty credible bit of research.

But the study didn't talk about the death of e-readers. If anything it gave them a fairly clean bill of health. The performance of books and e-readers were similar in all respects except one - this thing about being able to judge when events in a book happened.

Okay, fair enough. I can see that. The physical experience of an e-book is different to holding a paper book. That might give advantages and disadvantages. I can adjust the font size, but I don't get a physical impression of how big the book is. Pros and cons. Is that a big deal?

As others have said, the biggest disconnect is between the research and the headline. I don't blame the OP for this - the newspaper articles I saw were doing the same thing. The research most certainly did not say that e-readers were doomed. That was just put there by an editor trying to get an emotional response from readers.

The other disconnect here is the way that I and others reacted to the headline. My first gut instinct was to doubt the study - even though I had no evidence (at first) to make that call. It was saying something that I didn't want to be true, so I went into my caveman's fight of flight response.

I suppose the headline writers win either way. They write something like "the e book is doomed". If I believe that - or want to believe that - I will read the article to confirm my point of view.

But if I don't believe that e-readers are doomed then I will read the article anyway, if only to look for evidence that the study is wrong ... because I want it to be.

Once!
08-27-2014, 09:54 AM
My blog on this

http://willonce.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/the-kindle-is-doomed/

DreamWeaver
08-27-2014, 07:19 PM
Make sure you check your junk or spam folders. I'd also do a search for the word Sony.

And if you have Web support for your email, check on the Web as well.

Email can be spam filtered before it arrives on your computer, as well as after.
Thanks for the advice, which is very good. Unfortunately, I have already done every search I could think of through my mailbox, once I realized the link *should* have arrived some time ago. Then I wrote Sony support to ask them to resend the personalized link. Sony library by this time had been closed for some two months. Their response was basically, "Sorry, we ram-dumped everything. Talk to Kobo."

The basic problem was me not realizing the link should have arrived by x time; the cause of the problem was Sony closing down their operation; transferring one's Sony library to Kobo was the arranged safe haven. Kobo were absolutely no help, even though I already had a Kobo account with books in it...just not the ones I'd bought from Sony.

This is the ebook cautionary tale. I've had to recreate or transfer my ebook library three times, as different providers (Rocket, Borders, Sony) have closed their ebook operations. I've had to learn how to hack the files to use them on different platforms, which is not really the epitome of the convenience I was hoping ebooks would provide :D. I still love ebooks, but I can't say they are a failsafe buy-it-once-and-have-it-forever solution ;).

But I still think the ereader (or reading books on a screen to be more exact) is here to stay and wonderful. There's something magical about carrying around a library in my handbag...