Readers took over 10% longer to finish a book

E-books found to be slower and less relaxing than paper

Paper books trump electronic counterparts like the Amazon Kindle and the iPad in terms of readability, a recent study has found.

Research by Dr. Jakob Nielsen of the Nielsen Norman Group asked two dozen avid readers to read short stories by Ernest Hemingway on the Amazon Kindle 2 and the Apple iPad.

The results found that readers using the iPad were 6.7% slower than those reading from paper while the Amazon Kindle 2 resulted in 10.7% slower reading time. The study also examined reading from a computer monitor but provided no speed results.

Interestingly the iPad and Kindle 2 were universally liked as devices but they said that reading the paper book was more relaxing. 

It’s interesting that the dedicated Kindle 2 appeared to be significantly slower than the iPad since critical reviews have often said that the Kindle’s screen is easier on the eye than the iPad’s LCD screen for extended reading.

The speed differences were not very significant though, so for many the convenience of multiple books and being able to buy electronically will easily outweigh the speed benefit. 

More important than speed, we think, is the issue of relaxation. Perhaps there’s something therapeutic about the feel of paper? 

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