Amazon Kindle DX

It takes longer to read e-books than book-books

So, there’s that in the column of advantages to reading dead tree novels and references tomes.

A recent, teensy study of book reading speeds, encompassing 24 users, measured reading speeds for printed works over their digitally published counterparts to be slightly faster. Described as “noticeable enough to be just about statistically significant,” participants reading a short story by Ernest Hemingway finished 6.2% less quickly using an iPad, and 10.7% less quickly using a Kindle 2.

The Nielsen Norman group also measured user satisfaction among those surveyed, out of a score of seven. iPad, Kindle and book-books all rated about the same at 5.8, 5.7 and 5.6 respectively. Those reading on a PC scored the method much less favorably, though, ranking usability at a lamer 3.6.

Jakob Nielsen said the survey’s results were not surprising:

“Most of the users’ free-form comments were predictable,” says Nielsen.

“For example, they disliked that the iPad was so heavy and that the Kindle featured less-crisp gray-on-gray letters. People also disliked the lack of true pagination and preferred the way the iPad – actually, the iBook app – indicated the amount of text left in a chapter.”

Nielsen also said that those using a PC to read books tended to associate the medium with work, impacting their level of satisfaction. Of the survey participants, 40% of those who said they planned to purchase an e-reader in the coming months indicated they would opt for an iPad.

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