Is Reading on the Kindle Slower?


Past and future 1Yesterday, PC World reported findings of a study conducted by Dr. Jakob Nielson that suggests people read slower on e-readers like the Kindle and iPad than they do paperbacks.

I know for a fact I read faster on a Kindle, and therefore, I was surprised by the results. Until I took a good look at the article. Nielson’s sample consisted of only 24 people. In addition, the readers sampled read short stories by Ernest Hemingway. I think if we really want to learn whether or not people read more slowly on the Kindle, the sample size needs to be much larger if it is going to represent the population, and a variety of types of reading should be part of the experiment. As it is, the difference in reading time on the iPad versus paperback amounted to about a minute, whereas the Kindle time was almost two minutes longer.

Other book news:

On today’s date in 1942, Anne Frank and her family went into hiding in the secret annex above her father’s office. In 1893, Guy de Maupassant died.

Other anniversaries this week:

July 7, 1930, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle died.

July 8, 1822, Percy Bysshe Shelley drowned off the coast of Italy. July 8, 2004 YA and children’s author Paula Danziger died. (I loved her books The Cat Ate My Gymsuit and There’s a Bat in Bunk Five when I was a tween/teen.)

July 9, 1764, Ann Radcliffe, better known as Mrs. Radcliffe, the author of The Mysteries of Udolpho that served as inspiration for Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey, was born. Famed romance novelist Dame Barbara Cartland was born on July 9, 1901. Dean R. Koontz was born July 9, 1945.

July 10, 1871, Marcel Proust was born. July 10, 1931, Alice Munro was born.

July 11, 1960, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (still one of my all-time favorites) was published. On July 11, 1899, E. B. White was born. On July 11, 1930, Harold Bloom was born.

July 12, 1817, Henry David Thoreau was born. July 12, 1904, Pablo Neruda was born.

photo credit: Jandro S


3 thoughts on “Is Reading on the Kindle Slower?

  1. Maybe they read slowly because they were reading HEMINGWAY. One of the worst units I ever taught was The Sun Also Rises…never again. Zzzzzzzzzzz

    But I agree with you: I definitely read faster on the Kindle.

  2. Oh, no! The Sun Also Rises is one of my favorites. But, then again, I've never taught it.

    I can't speak about the Kindle, but I know that reading on my iPod touch Kindle app is slow-going for me. I end up getting distracted very easily.

    A survey of only 24 people, though, regardless, is a joke.

    1. I love The Sun Also Rises and have successfully taught it. I felt it was slower on my iPhone, too, whether the app was Kindle, Stanza, or Classics.

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