A lot of people, including me, habitually say that they “don’t like to read off the computer screen.”
However, I recently read an article by Cory Doctorow, co-author of the blog boingboing.net, which convinced me that this is a misformulation. The article is in his book “Content” available free for download from his site craphound.com
He makes a very simple point: people DO constantly read off the computer screen: emails, blogs, RSS feeds and so on. What they actually mean is that you don’t like reading LONG, book-length works. This requires a different kind of concentration, or as he puts it, a different cognitive style:
The various e-book formats (Kindle, Sony), fall in-between, because they are not really book size. Plastic Logic has announced a business-oriented reader about the size of a regular notepad (8 ½ x 11), to be released some time in 2009.
This would be a great device for law firms and other businesses where people have to take with them and review large amounts of paper. It remains to be seen whether it will catch on.