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Ditching the Paperback for the LCD?





ddukki
I was contemplating this the other day and I wondered if anyone else felt this way:

I tend to read more in-depth and carefully if the article I'm reading is physically in my hand.

For some reason, it's hard for me to absorb information I read on the computer screen. I can read on the computer screen just like I can from a book or a newspaper, but it feels ... less substantial than anything I read on paper.

Am I the only one? I'm 20, by the way.

Also, do you think that the computer monitor, and by association, the virtual medium of digital reproduction will ever replace physical manual copies for non-legal documents? I say non-legal, because permanence is an issue in business and law, so important papers will have a hard time transitioning to fully digital documents. But the internet has so far already replaced the Atlas and news to a large extent.
Sphaerenkern
Hm, sometimes the font is just too small for me to read for a longer time - but I can just zoom in, so this is no problem Very Happy For reading novels and books, however, a book is my device of choice - with portable devices, the screen isn't big and good enough, but big screens are not portable enough Wink
ProfessorY91
I prefer reading from a book. There really isn't any substitute for being able to turn pages, or sit in front of a warm fire with a book in your hands.

However, I spend a lot of time reading fanfiction - on a computer - and it's caused me to change my entire mindset: When on a computer I expect the writing to be bad quality, but when reading a book I experience the thrill of a good read.

Y
Ankhanu
I prefer digital media when reading scientific primary literature. It's a lot easier to reference multiple journal articles and keep everything straight when researching on the computer than on paper.

That said, recreational reading has to be on paper. I can't get into e-books at all.
schooldays
No, no, no.

Reading is to be done on proper paper. The kind you get from trees. Reading on a screen would feel very wrong.
Radar
Reading books - definitely paper, although short stories, scripts and plays I've read online without gross discomfort, so I just there is a certain degree to which that rule can be bent.

Reading off a screen just begins to be a strain on the eyes sometimes. And for the times that it's not, the physical holding, flipping, looking back up and so on is so much more natural than the scrolling, hitting the back button, tabbing between applications or whatever.

There was a while there - and I'm considering getting back into this habit - when I had set up a script so that my RSS feeds and my e-mails would be automatically printed out. This meant that getting up in the morning, and trying to rush out the door, I didn't have to try and make time to read the articles - I could simply do it on the train using the hard copy. Much nicer feel to reading it off paper, than sitting at a computer screen. Plus, you can draw on paper, which often brings out creativity, making the experience better still.
chi0
Books, definitely.

Staring at screens for long periods of time can be total eyedeath.

And there's nothing like soaking in the bath for an hour with a good book. ^_^
blk3
Before the rise of the internet, I used to read a lot of books particularly fiction, but these days, I mostly read stuff from the net, news, forums, blogs etc. The paper material seems to loose its charms on me once I got into the online bandwagon.
vicar013
Imagine an Bio-LCD scroll that you can read in the bath with you though, theres loads of companies researching "e-Paper". Checkout Sony's version...

Thats my biggest problem with reading large passages from a screen; you just cannot be comfortable enough.
Books are handy when you run out of logs for the fire too. ho ho ho
vicar013
@blk3: Nice nebula.
georgeodowd
I'm definitely on the bandwagon of resistance to e-books, but I wonder how much of it stems from habit and how much e-books really just aren't as physically satisfying as a good stack of paper glued together. I guess time will tell as future generations grow more and more attached to their digital media. I'm sure we will reach a time within the next 100 years or so where trees are no longer expendable enough to make books out of them.
Afaceinthematrix
I'm all for saving paper so I've moved to e-books. I prefer to use an actual book, though. So I'll often go to the library and read books that have already been printed and then when I want to buy something new, I'll try to get it in an e-book.
Nutteloos
I've found myself reading a lot of study-related material as e-books lately, and I can't say I'm disappointed. I don't really find the need to print most of it. One big advantage for me, is quickly browsing by searching for keywords. You can't do that in a paperback.

Of course, reading books for fun is still a lot more convenient with a physical book in your hands. Libraries are awesome too. Smile
deanhills
I have a very short attention span and can read one electronic page maximum, before my mind starts to wonder on the Internet. Hard copy is slightly better, but I find myself skimming when I get to the second page. I don't read all the detail. I do have good moments though when I seem to absorb 100% of everything in a crystal clear way. Particularly if I am excited and enthusiastic about the subject.
Triple_7
Depending on what it is. News I tend to get over the internet as apposed to reading through the papers since there is only one free paper that arrives on our doorstep and its only one day a week.

But if its a book...which most seem to be found online now. I still prefer to have the hard copy. I tend to absorb more out of an actual page. To used to scan reading through internet pages I could never read an entire book looking at a screen. I can read through an article online in a matter of seconds and have all the information I needed to know from it. In paper form that same article takes me twice as long....but I pick up on the smaller details.
f00lishhhh
As a student, it is extremely useful for me to have digital copies of the books I study. If I think of a particular quote that I need for my essay, I can search the entire text. However, I still very much prefer paper!
ddukki
deanhills wrote:
I have a very short attention span and can read one electronic page maximum, before my mind starts to wonder on the Internet. Hard copy is slightly better, but I find myself skimming when I get to the second page. I don't read all the detail. I do have good moments though when I seem to absorb 100% of everything in a crystal clear way. Particularly if I am excited and enthusiastic about the subject.
Same here. Electronic material seems to be distracting for some reason. Even when I'm doing research, I usually have to print out the page to fully comprehend what I read.

However, with the Amazon Kindle, it seems like paper is being replaced in a different way. Any comments about this turn of events?
Vladalf
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
I'm all for saving paper so I've moved to e-books.

Same here, even tough If I see a good book in the library I'll probably buy it. What? It's allready printed!
Vladk
imera
I don't enjoy reading a book on the computer, it's to big, and too bright and just not the perfect tool for reading.

I haven't tried the e-book reader, and would like to try it to see how it is. I enjoy reading books in paper format so I don't think it will stop while I'm still living.

of course some things are just as good on the pc, dictionary (faster thank the paper one) and even atlas is faster, letters (also faster) and many other things I would guess.
Nutteloos
When I'm travelling by train (especially in summer) I highly prefer a good ol' paperback. My laptop is just not suitable for use when the sun's low - which happens a lot lately. Smile
imera
Nutteloos wrote:
...My laptop is just not suitable for use when the sun's low - which happens a lot lately. Smile


That is probably the worst part of the laptop, I would love to sit out more often but I can't see anything on the screen Sad
c'tair
I read ebooks on my Nokia N95-2. Screen is enough to read, I've changed the screen for the font to be green and the background black so it doesn't shine too strong. I also read some shorter (100-150 pages) ebooks on my laptop. I don't get distracted or anything, it's damn comfortable.

Also, saving paper and money - I would never be able to satisfy my hunger for reading with paper books - 1-2 books per week?

Yeah, a normal book feels better, but hey, I got another 40 books on my Nokia and my eyes don't strain much.
ddukki
Is There Something Fundamentally Better About 'Print' Than 'Online'?

Here's a link from TechDirt that deals with this question. More than the article itself, the comments at the bottom are more intriguing for our purposes. While the article does deal, sort of, with the issue of switching from printed words to online text, it doesn't delve deeper than the reason that people "imbue print with power" and it's all in the mind.

If that's the case, have any of you noticed any significant differences between the younger generation being able to read online more easily than the older?
Nutteloos
It's probably just due to getting used to sitting in front of screens a lot. Older people's eyes have difficulties to adapt and may experience headaches sooner.
Spartan
I'd also prefer reading for a book. I do read sometimes on my computer, but it's hard to me, which is weird, since I'm on a computer for most of the day. I like hard copies, it's just... Easier.
Magicman
I definitely prefer reading longer articles and books on paper but if something I have to read something that's already online, then I usually won't print it because the less paper I have cluttering my room, the better. When I read something in pdf form on the screen I do usually invert the colors on my screen. This makes it easier to read and makes me less likely to do other things since everything looks strange inverted.
David_Pardy
I'm quite happy to read from paper books, and I've done a lot of reading since I was old enough to learn to read and write better than everyone else Wink.

These days, however, I'll read from books OR on the computer. I'm bored at work a lot and it looks less suss if I have something up on screen, rather than holding a book in front of me. I've read a LOT of ebooks.

I have no moral obligation against reading ebooks like a lot of people seem to. To me it's just a means to an end, it's not that big of a deal. They're still the same words.
sondosia
I can't really stand reading things online. I even subscribe to a few magazines that are available online in their entirety because I know I absorb information a lot better if I'm reading it from paper.

I think plenty of people feel this way, so I doubt books and magazines are on their way out.
tdezellem
There are some people who really like the Kindle to read things on, but even that I find cannot replace the feel of paper and the sense of reading something in my hand, however that being said i fear there are many print items on their way out. I was a reporter working for a newspaper a few years ago and all everyone talked about was who was being cut and the lowering of the print order. In some ways it made me sad, but in others I had to realize that with TV news and so many other Internet news sources that some kinds of publications are becoming a thing of the past.

There is nothing quite like picking up a leather bound book or even a small pocketbook for that matter and sitting out in the hammock under the trees turning pages. I know a laptop would not stand up to that for long(the occasional bird crap falling) and a Kindal is not quite the same no matter how much improvement it is over the computer screen.
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