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Study: Reading eBook eReaders Takes Longer Than Print

Score one for old school. In the increasing rush to turn everything digital, it seems like sometimes the old ways are the best- at least in some ways. A recent study conducted by Jakob Nielson tested the speeds it took to read on an iPad, a Kindle 2, a PC monitor and standard print, and print was the clear winner.

The group tested 24 subjects using a short story from Hemmingway. “We picked Hemingway because his work is pleasant and engaging to read, and yet not so complicated that it would be above the heads of users,” the report said.

The subjects read the stories, then were given a comprehension test. On average, it took each user 17 minutes and 20 seconds to read a story on any of the formats, and the comprehension remained consistent regardless of what it was read on, but the printed book was by far the fastest medium to read on. On average, reading the printed paper was 6.7-percent faster than on an iPad, and 10.7-percent faster than the Kindle 2. The report did not show the PC monitor speeds, just that it was not as fast as print.

When asked, the subjects seemed to be about even on which format they actually liked the best, with a slight edge going to the iPad. On a scale of 1 to 7, the PC Monitor came in last with 3.6 points, printed books came in third with 5.6, the Kindle 2 had 5.7 points, and the iPad had 5.8.

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