Thursday, March 3, 2011

Kindle Reading Strategies

By Dave White

Reading on the Kindle.

Yeah, I've been doing a lot of it lately. Have you?

A few of the things I've realized about it.

I don't skim as much. I think it has to do with not knowing exactly how long a chapter or book is. I see the percentage at the bottom, yes, but I don't have a feel for the weight of the book. I don't like to flip ahead and see how long a chapter is. I just read it. And therefore, if I'm just trying to get a chapter done before bed, I'm less likely to skim.

At the same time, I read faster. Not sure why. I read the book with more clarity. I don't rush, but my eyes cross the page much much quicker. I've heard other people say this as well. Any thoughts on why?

On the other hand, I'm not drawn to reading as much. I love to read and when I do read on the Kindle, I read for long stretches at a time. But if my Kindle is on the shelf or put away, I'm not drawn to it. With hardcopy books, I'm more likely to have it within arms reach. Just the way I organize, I suppose.

What are your thoughts on the experience of e-book reading vs. hardcopy reading?

PS: Sorry for the short post this week. Been a long week.


Dana King said...

Similar to yours. I don't skim, though I don't skim a lot when reading paper books.

I read about half and half, Kindle and paper, so I don;t have a good feel yet for the "out of sight, out of mind" comment, but I think it's probably there. It might be because I'm careful about where I lay the Kindle down; it's real hard to break a paper-bound book.

The cover isn't always staring at you when you walk past, either. I just finished reading GENERATION KILL, and every time I walked past wherever it happened to be, I wanted to pick it up. (And usually did.)The Kindle is always the Kindle, nothing about it reminds you of what you're currently reading, except yourself.

Still, I'm not giving it back.

John McFetridge said...

I just read Stewart O'Nan's Last Night at the Lobster on my iPad (Kindle app) and it's a bit of a different experience because I also use the iPad for checking email, reading newspapers and watching sports highlights.

So, more often than I expected, I open up the book I'm reading if I have five minutes free and read a bit. That's not something I did very often before, usually I felt I needed a big chunk of reading time to pick up a book.

Still, I'm thinking about getting a dedicated e-ink reader.

Al Tucher said...

I have done a little reading on the Kindle for PC app, and that was the first thing I noticed--I had no idea how long the story was. I felt less like a regular commuter and more like an ancient Polynesian migrant wondering how long he was going to have to paddle.

(If that comparison isn't a little too pretentious!)

Diana said...

I don't have a kindle, but I might have some insight into why you read faster and with better clarity on the kindle. Years ago I attempted to homeschool my son. What I learned from doing that is that each person has an affinity for how they take in information. If you take the same chunk of information and put it on paper, on a computer screen, in an audiofile, or on videotape, then a person will get the information faster and with better understanding from one or two of those formats over the others. Even though my son does read novels, information on paper is the worst way to convey information to him. He prefers information coming from a computer screen.

So my guess is that you have a stronger affinity for words on a computer screen than you do for words on paper. Which makes sense. If you didn't have a strong affinity for words on a computer screen, then you wouldn't have bought a kindle. :)

Sean Patrick Reardon said...

I have the nook and love it. It's easy to carry around and strangely enough, one of the best things about it is that I don't have to hold open pages, which after using the nook, is a real pain in ass when reading a hardcover or paperack. The prices and easy access to titles can't be beat. I think some authors still need a realty check when pricing their e-books as well.

Chris Rhatigan said...

I don't have a Kindle, but I'm seriously considering getting one. I use the Kindle for PC program which I like.

I've heard that people read faster on Kindle than on the page before (I believe Doc Noir mentioned this). That would be huge for me--I'm kind of a slow reader.

Spencer said...

I have a blog/reading log that I keep ( I usually post whether I've read a book on the kindle or not. Every time i read a book on the kindle i love it. Reading on the kindle is the best reading experience (for me) period.

Ipad for kindle app is OK, but much harder on the eyes IMO.