E-Reading and its Impact on the Art of Reading
The advent of digital technology has definitely influenced reading preferences and habits. According to a survey, the number of e-books sold in the United States increased from 69 million in 2010 to 266 million in 2017. The dramatic rise in the popularity of e-reading is due to the easy availability of online content on a wide array of digital devices.
A lot of people feel that printed books are slowly losing their sheen. In the wake of e-reading, several bookstores, like the iconic Strand Book Stall in Mumbai, are shutting down. However, others, like journalist Simon Jenkins, believe, “Books are back. Only the technodazzled thought they would go away.”
While there’s is no clear consensus yet, the craze of digital content is unquestionably going to impact the future of reading. It is important to explore e-reading – as readers and writers.
E-reading is Easier reading
There are several ways in which e-reading has enhanced the reading process:
- Online publications can be read on any device, from computer monitors, smartphones to Kindles
- Space is no longer an issue, with most devices allowing you to store multiple books in the storage memory
- Portability increases, as e-book devices that store many books, are light in weight and easy to carry
- E-readers and smartphones allow you to read effectively and efficiently, with options available to underline, highlight, look up definitions, and make notes
Drawbacks in e-reading
While the rise in popularity of e-reading has been significant, it may not replace the conventional paper books because:
- Reading online has also found to be slower than reading on paper
- Reading from a screen can be difficult because of low screen resolutions. Reading on paper has been found to be faster than reading from a monitor, but according to web analyst Jakob Nielson, the two reading speeds would be the same with better screen resolutions.
- Often, documents that were not intended for online publishing are dumped online. This makes the documents redundant, as they tend to be illegible to the reader.
- Extended periods of reading from a screen can strain the eyes
Write for, and as, the reader
If you are a website writer, improving the readability of your content is imperative to attract more readers. For eg., you can ensure the use of white space in your text. Reducing the amount of text on the screen also retains the reader’s attention.
Improve your e-reading experience
You can use the following steps to better your online reading experience:
- Download the content to read at your leisure
- Adjust your screen display to be able to read better
- Increase the font size so as to not strain your eyes
- Take regular breaks. Reading from a screen for extended periods of time can harm your eyes and compromise your ability to grasp the content.
- reading has, for better or for worse, spearheaded a revolution in reading habits. This has definitely hurt the sale of physical copies. However, retrogating back to printed content is not only unfeasible but also regressive to the art of reading. The key is to optimally utilise the two mediums by curating content according to the reading format.