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Transition to e-formats

A year ago it all seemed so certain: print-on-paper was outdated and would soon be replaced by e-content. However, since then, there are signs that the pundits may have overestimated public enthusiasm for e-books, at least. Aaron Pressman reports on a levelling-off of sales of e-books (http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/breakout/slowing-ebook-sales-could-hurt-amazon-in-battle-with-publishers-174752232.html) and the ongoing disagreement between publishers and suppliers, such as Amazon, cannot be helping.

Adding further doubts is a recent report by Alison Flood, of the Guardian newspaper of a survey of Kindle users (http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/aug/19/readers-absorb-less-kindles-paper-study-plot-ereader-digitisation) aimed at assessing to what extent plot details were retained in their memories when reading a novel on a Kindle. Such readers were significantly less able to recall the plot summary compared with their counterparts reading paperback novels.

Taken together, this suggests that the role of e-books and the act of reading are more contested and complicated than users and researchers have thought.

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