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E-books vs Printed Books

A recent usability survey conducted by Jakob Nielsen of product development consultancy Nielsen Norman Group discovered that it takes longer to read electronic books on, for example, an Apple iPad or a Kindle 2 when compared to reading a traditional printed book. According to the experiment, reading speeds reduce by 6.2% on the iPad and 10.7% on the Kindle when compared to print although the result does not mean that reading on the iPad is faster than the Kindle.

It is however not all doom and gloom for the electronic reading devices as the study reports that satisfaction ratings on the survey are quite promising for the future of e-readers and tablets. Apart from the overall user satisfaction, some advantages of using e-readers include access to several books and tools such as search functions and dictionaries at any given time. Furthermore, the fact that features such as text fonts are customisable means that e-books (or e-Magazines) are generally easier to read on e-readers. Other advantages of using an e-reader is the convenience factor which means that you do not have to carry heavy books around.

However, printed-book lovers argue that e-books take away the “feeling of paper” one gets when reading a book and the downloading process or need for regular charging of batteries are sometimes too cumbersome. Whichever side of the argument you belong, there is no doubt that electronic books have changed the way books are read and people can choose whatever they are comfortable with. By learning how to make an eBook you can share your creativity with the world and self-publish your own work.

Talking Point

Do you agree with the results of the study above? How long does it take you to read an average e-book?

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