April 15, 2010

Kindle v. iPad & Future of Reading

Provocative article about the future of reading in the e-reader age:
Even for those who love books enough to persevere with reading without e-ink will soon face another problem with the awesomeness of the iPad. The device does so many different things so well that there’s a constant urge when you’re using one to do something else. Two or three pages into a book, you’re already wondering whether you’ve got new mail, or whether anyone has atted you on Twitter. One of the joys of reading is to be able to shut yourself away from distractions and lose yourself in a book. When the book itself is packed with distractions, the whole experience is compromised.

5 comments:

mrsdarwin said...

Ain't it the truth... I find that when I read an article on the computer, I'm constantly distracted by other possibilities -- is there any email? Did anyone reply to that Evite? Anyone updating on Darwin's facebook? And some books can be read just fine that way, but others -- meant to be savored -- need space and time, even if that space is just 15 feet away from the computer and a floor away from the dull roar of the children.

mrsdarwin said...

Then I saw an email pop up and I had to click away from this page to check it...

TS said...

I hear ya - the Internet has to be the greatest distraction machine ever invented! The amount of reading I do has increased in quantity but decreased in quality. I look back amazed that a decade ago I would read a 500 or 600-page biography of, say, William Gladstone and Thomas J. Jackson.

Jeff Miller said...

Can't say I have been distracted while reading on my iPad or before on my iPod Touch. When I want to read I read and internet distraction aren't tempting enough for me when I am into a good book.

Though I can certainly see how some could fall into this trap. This is not inherent into the devices, but the habits people bring to the device.

Reading on the computer falls right along with what they are saying. You have multiple windows of data reporting to you and so it does become distracting to read and retain what you are reading.

So what I do for longer articles or other bits of writing I want to be able to more fully concentrate on I tag them to Instapaper and then read them on my iPad at the end of the day,

Amy said...

I agree - I have never read on an e-reader, but I can imagine that would be the case for me.

One of the interesting tics that I find I have carried from reading on the computer - either documents or just stuff on the Internet - to normal magazine/book reading is the mental expectation that the "seek" function will always be there - I get extremely annoyed when I'm reading a "real" book and I can't just type in a word and punch a button to find a previous mention of a phrase or concept.