Who is Smik?

Monday, 17 January 2011

Can we make things too easy to read?

Anecdotal evidence from friends and comments about their e-reading experiences include an impressions that they are able to read faster on their e-readers than they can with a "normal" made-from-paper book. We have all thought that had something to do with the ability to manipulate the size of the font.

This phenomenon has been noted elsewhere, for example, a study of US middle school students who were all using Kindles, where their teacher found that nearly all were choosing to read their e-books in one of the larger size fonts.

Again this is anecdotal "evidence" - but there have been suggestions made that e-books are abridged versions - people unable to believe that they were able to read the book so quickly!

A colleague borrowed the company Kindle for the holidays and got on famously with it, far better than she thought she would. She said that she quickly forgot it was a device and settled down to reading with it easily. She read 3 books, all fairly long. However the time came to return the device and she reported that she had made the transition back to p-books just as easily.
She reported having a strange experience. The print on the p-book was a bit small and so she thought she would "bump it up bit", until she remembered she was not reading it on an e-reader.

So this post from TeleRead: Bring the E-Books Home, a blog that I follow regularly, Are e-readers too easy to read? makes interesting reading. A neuroscience blogger suggests that easy to read fonts interfere with information retention. I guess if that were an educationally sound conclusion, then we would have made our readers and text books much harder to read long ago.

What do you think?

Posted via email from You Are Never Alone (on posterous)

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