It seems that many students can be turned off reading by the physical characteristics of made-from-paper books, like
- size of the font - we expect them to "graduate" to smaller type fonts before they (or is it their eyes?) are ready
- page layout - not enough white space, print density, no pictures
- the size of the book - too small, too big
- the weight of the book
One of the interesting things emerging from discussions about e-reading experiences is that it seems people who already read a lot are reading even more. Here is an article that explores that theme.
All of this is the fault of my ereading device. Like the muses of ancient lore, the device has seduced me. I can’t wait to sit in my recliner and read on my Sony 950; I simply do not want to pick up a printed book. The screen is easy on my eyes, the touch screen a pleasure, the ergonomics excellent for me, and the weight significantly less than most of my hardcovers. It oozes pleasure and an enjoyable time to be had. ... I’m reading three to four times as many books as I did before I had an ereading device
Perhaps that ties in with what I touched on yesterday: the impression that they are able to read faster.
Amazon for example are citing rising books sales, particularly of e-books.
Of course in education it isn't really the established older readers we want to get to. It is the younger readers who in the past have been turned off reading for reasons like those I cited at the beginning of this post.
And the jury is out on whether these people need a dedicated e-reader or an App on an iPad or e-reading software on their computer