So Borders opened an e-bookstore along with apps for Android and Blackberry to go with the existing apps for iPods and iPhones. On one hand, there is indication that Borders will also step up the in-store ebook offerings (without specific mention as to HOW they’re going to do that).
And on the other hand, there’s Mike Cane’s take on the Border’s e-bookstore, which focuses on the Borders Inc President Mike Edwards’ comment that “We’ll take market share just by turning it on.”
I agree with Cane: that comment is just flush with the 0_o and the ??! and WTFery spread on squares of What Now??
And finally, PC World posted a story about a study regarding how fast folks read on paper vs. on the iPad and the Kindle. The study was launched by Dr. Jakob Nielsen of the Nielsen Norman Group, and according to the write up on useit.com they focused on 24 users reading a Hemingway story for approximately 17 minutes on the different devices::
The iPad measured at 6.2% lower reading speed than the printed book, whereas the Kindle measured at 10.7% slower than print. However, the difference between the two devices was not statistically significant because of the data’s fairly high variability.
Thus, the only fair conclusion is that we can’t say for sure which device offers the fastest reading speed. In any case, the difference would be so small that it wouldn’t be a reason to buy one over the other.
But we can say that tablets still haven’t beaten the printed book….
This absolutely astounds me. 10% slower than print? I’m tempted to try to read two similar-length books on paper vs. the Kindle to test myself, but I think I read much faster on the Kindle. For one thing, as Lindsay Faber said to me on Twitter, I’ve figured out at what point on the page I need to click the page turn button so the refresh doesn’t interrupt. For another, control of the text size allows me greater comfort and gives me the ability to sink into the book much easier than on the iPad. But it’s been awhile since I read a paper book, so I don’t know if I’ve really thought to measure how fast I read something on paper vs. via eInk.
I will say this, though:
After using each device, we asked users to rate their satisfaction on a 1–7 scale, with 7 being the best score.
iPad, Kindle, and the printed book all scored fairly high at 5.8, 5.7, and 5.6, respectively. The PC, however, scored an abysmal 3.6.
Most of the users’ free-form comments were predictable. 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.
Less predictable comments: Users felt that reading the printed book was more relaxing than using electronic devices. And they felt uncomfortable with the PC because it reminded them of work.
Sing it, people, sing it, to all of the above. One thing that digital books have made me think about at length is not only what and where I read, but how I read. What am I doing when I read? How fast can I sink into the story and start ignoring everything around me (much to Hubby’s displeasure)? What is my optimal reading environment and through what format, digital or paper? And do I read faster digitally or am I wrong about that? I have much to ponder, clearly.
What about you: do you think you read faster digitally vs. via a printed page? Should we all get stopwatches and race?