E-books encourage more reading

Thursday, May 27, 2010

This story from the Philadelphia Inquirer might qualify as one of Jack Shafer's "bogus trend stories of the week" because it's entirely based on anecdotes from a handful of interview subjects, but it reminds me of a good point about e-books and e-book readers.

The book lovers in the story describe their relationships with their Kindle/iPad/what-have-you, and how they are using them to read more books than ever. What struck me when I started reading e-books was how often it gave me the opportunity to read a book where I wouldn't have otherwise, like waiting in lines, on a crowded bus, watching my kids (okay, don't tell my wife that). For me, reading is about momentum; the more often I dip into a book, even for a few pages, the more I want to keep going and finish it. The e-books let me do that. I don't have a Kindle or iPad though, I read with the Kindle app on my iPhone. This may have a lot to do with it because it was easier to read one-handed and fend off toddlers around my kneecaps.  I also didn't have to remember to pack a separate device with me, it was always in my pocket.

So more anecdotal evidence to back up an already flimsy newspaper article. But there may be something to it.