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    Is the New York Times Right About Ebooks on Tablets?

    IPads, Kindle Fires, Nooks, and an array of other tablets seem ubiquitous.

    Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project indicates in a report titled Tablet and Ebook Reader Ownership Nearly Double Over the Holiday Gift Giving Period that ownership of tablet computers among Americans increased from 10% to 19% during the holiday season. Ownerships of e-readers experienced similar growth. 29% of Americans now own at least one such device.

    Photo courtesy of sridgway under Creative Commons

    “And some of the millions of consumers who have bought tablets and sampled e-books on apps from Amazon, Apple and Barnes & Noble have come away with a conclusion:” said the NY Times in a March 4th story. “It’s harder than ever to sit down and focus on reading.”

    “It’s like trying to cook when there are little children around,” said David Myers, 53, a systems administrator in Atlanta, who got a Kindle Fire tablet in December told the newspaper. “A child might do something silly and you’ve got to stop cooking and fix the problem and then return to cooking.”

    Maybe Myers is experiencing what science fiction writer Cory Doctorow described in a 2009 Locus Magazine article as an “ecosystem of interruption technologies.”

    Times writers Julie Bosman and Matt Richtell explain, “The basic menu for the Kindle Fire offers links to video, apps, the Web, music, newsstand and books, effectively making books (once Amazon’s stock in trade) just another menu option. So too with the multipurpose iPad…”

    That’s a concern to publishers. The Times reports that “publishers are cooling on tablets for e-reading. A recent survey by Forrester Research showed that 31 percent of publishers believed iPads and similar tablets were the ideal e-reading platform; one year ago, 46 percent thought so.”

    We’d like to know what you think.

    Have you tried reading on a tablet or an e-reader? How do you feel about the reading experience using it? Did you find yourself tempted to leave the book you were reading to visit YouTube, surf the net or check your email?

    Post a comment below and let us know.

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