We writers know about short attention spans (are you still reading?). We’ve responded by cutting the amount of text we ask people to read, then breaking up that text in new and, hopefully, imaginative ways.
We’ve accepted that people flit rapidly from one item to another on the web and adapted our writing accordingly. Key words and short sentences are king when it comes to writing for the web.
So how does the popularity of electronic readers like the Kindle and iPad fit in?
Research by usability expert Jakob Nielsen shows that it is still considerably slower to read an electronic book reader than it is to read the same text on paper. But June 2010, as Richard Sharpe informs us, was a milestone – the day Amazon sold more e-books than paper books.
So I’m puzzled: if it’s all about speed, why are people choosing a slower way to read?