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Study: eBooks take longer to read than print

In a recent usability survey, Jakob Nielsen of product development consultancy Nielsen Norman Group discovered that it takes longer to read books on a Kindle or an iPad versus a printed book, CNN reports. The study found that reading speeds declined by 6.2 percent on the iPad and 10.7 percent on the Kindle when compared to print. However, Nielsen conceded that the differences in reading speed between the two devices were not “statistically significant, because of the data’s fairly high variability”—in other words, the study did not prove that the iPad allowed for faster reading than the Kindle. A total of 24 participants were given short stories by Ernest Hemingway to read in print and on iPads, Kindles, and desktop PCs. After reading, participants filled out a brief comprehension questionnaire to make sure no one had skimmed through a story. Users rated their satisfaction with each device; the iPad, Kindle, and printed book scored 5.8, 5.7, and 5.6 on a scale of 1 to 7, respectively, while the PC received an average score of 3.6—owing, in part, because reading on a PC reminded readers of work. Participants also complained about the weight of the iPad and the Kindle’s weak contrast…

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