Winner of 2017 Giller Prize

Winner of 2017 Giller Prize
Michael Redhill for his novel Bellevue Square

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Seniors Gravitate Towards eBooks

Intersting article by Michael Kozlowski
Seniors are rediscovering their love of prose with the rise of electronic books on dedicated e-readers and tablets. One of the main reasons is the contrast and light weight nature of popular readers like the Kindle. Digital Readers tend to weigh less then a hardcover novel, and give seniors the ability to enhance the size of the fonts, making it easier to read.

Researchers from Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany, showed that the elderly found reading easier when using electronic readers and tablets. This is because there was increased contrast between the text and background, researchers said.


The research report states that seniors are torn between dedicated tablets, like the Apple iPad and e-readers. Some like the ability to do more things with a tablet, such as paying bills. Others tend to like the longer battery life and the lightweight nature of e-readers, making it easier to hold for longer reading sessions. The rise of e-readers with front-lit displays, such as the Kobo Glo and Kindle Paperwhite, are also becoming more popular. This is because the light is not emitting from behind the screen and does not contribute to eye strain.

One elderly reader wrote in, and said “I am a disabled person who is an avid book reader and I have thought for a long time that e-readers are brilliant for this very reason. My hands are not good and I find reading a paper book very painful to do but e-readers are light and easy to use just by tapping with fingers.” Another reader mentioned, “My mum is 84 and has failing eyesight so had all but stopped reading until we got her a Kindle a year ago. She absolutely loves it.”

As much as e-readers are starting to gain more traction with older people, the same research article proclaims their undying love of physical books. The crux of the issue, is that the older you get, the poorer your eyesight becomes. The love of paperback and trade novels is hampering seniors reading habits. Many people are finding that once they get an e-reader, they tend to read more.

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