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Reading Speed On Ebook Is Slower Than On Paper.. So What?

Much has been written about a study released by user interface guru, Jakob Nielsen, which says that reading on ebooks is generally slower than doing the same on paper.

Apart from the issue of the sample, which was quite small (only 24 book readers), Nielsen conveniently ignored the fact that people do not necessarily buy Ebooks (or printed matter) because of how fast they can read text on a screen.

Instead, Ebooks trounce paperbacks for convenience and the sheer reading volume that can be packed into such a small space. Electronic books also reintroduce serendipity in reading in that you don't have to plan ahead which books you will be bringing with you on a train or on a trip.

Just bring the equivalent of the Alexandria library in your backpack wherever you go and indeed, this is where electronic books score their most vital points. Just by allowing avid readers to take reading breaks when they want and where they want, this could potentially cause reading times to surge.

Also as some have put it, one reason why people read slower on an electronic media like the iPad is that people have yet to adapt to reading habits on such media but then reading was never a matter of speed (except during crunch tests or exams), instead, it was always supposed to be done leisurely.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.