It has become one of the hottest topics in the literary world; do you prefer to read from a Kindle or a Book? Since the launch of the first Kindle device in November 2007 there has been an ever increasing debate surrounding the pros and cons of such technology.
Perhaps the most obvious of pros is the storage capabilities that the Kindle provides. The first device of its kind boasted a “250MB storage system” (Wikipedia 2015) that would hold approximately “200 non-illustrated text” (Wikipedia 2015). In 2015 we can access “32 and 64GB of storage” (Wikipedia 2015) on the new tablet forms of Kindle. From an educational perspective the Kindle offers a lightweight, portable solution if your reading list is particularly hefty. One can also change font sizes and styles making texts readily and easily available for readers of all needs and abilities.
With the invention of the tablet Kindle has merged it is already tablet ready format with the popular personal computer. Now, the Kindle is not simply a vessel for the reading and annotation of text it also has internet capabilities, aptitude for music, pictures and document processing. The Kindle is now a vessel for everyday life, not just for reading, whereas the book has one function.
However, it has been suggested that reading from Kindle damages the reading experience for many users and studies have shown that “paper readers … report[ed] higher on … empathy, transportation and immersion, and narrative coherence, than with iPad readers” (Guardian 2014). The study in question “gave 50 reader the same short story by Elizabeth George to read” (Guardian 2014), the purpose of which was to discover the differences in reader engagement with the material. It was found that there were “differences in … emotional responses. Kindle readers [also] performed significantly worse on … plot reconstruction … when they were asked to place 14 events in the correct order” (Guardian 2014). It has been suggested that the reader of a book can feel the progress they are making through the story with their fingers, by turning the pages. This “sensory offload” (Guardian 2014) enables the reader to fixate and solidify the unfolding and progression of the text.
As well as this hard copy books can be a more effective study tool than the Kindle. Bookmarking places in Kindle E-Books is possible but trying to find them again can take a little more time than it would in a hardcopy edition. Being able to book mark a hard copy with postit notes or paper is an easily visible solution that is less time consuming than finding a Kindle book mark. Obtaining the information you ear marked is easy and straightforward. Also, many page references your tutor gives you will not match up to Kindle page numbers. The ability to change font means that page numbers vary dramatically and finding the section your tutor has directed you to can be quite a challenge.
THE GUARDIAN. (2014) Readers absorb less on Kindles than on paper, study finds. [Online] Available from: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/aug/19/readers-absorb-less-kindles-paper-study-plot-ereader-digitisation. [Accessed 30th January 2015]
WIKIPEDIA. (2015) Amazon Kindle [Online] Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazon_Kindle. [Accessed 30th January 2015)