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SURVEY: Do You Read Books on Your Phone?

The idea of curling up with your smartphone before bed is anathema to many, but how about you?

By Edward Nawotka, Editor-in-Chief

The mobile phone, the cell phone, the smart phone — seemingly everyone’s got one. And today, you can carry around a virtual library of books in your pocket. But the question is, even if you’ve got that “virtual library” with you at all times, do you actually use your phone to read books?

Even with larger and larger screen sizes, ones that flirt with the definition of “tablet,” and the ability to enlarge text, reading on a phone can prove an awkward experience — particularly for sessions lasting more than a few minutes. That said, there are times when one is willing to put up with a little eye strain to get the information you want. But, I posit, that is much more likely to be the latest sports score or that email from your spouse or a news update — information that seems more urgent than the type of thing you might read in a book. Books are deliberately written in a format that demands a somewhat more relaxed, focused state.

The idea of curling up with your iPhone before bed is anathema to many, but how about you? And let us know why in the comments below.

Do You Read Books on Your Phone?

  • Yes, but only when another larger, more convenient device is unavailable (48%, 62 Votes)
  • Yes, I find the convenience of reading books on my phone irresistible (26%, 34 Votes)
  • No, I simply cannot cannot tolerate reading a book on my phone (20%, 26 Votes)
  • No, I don’t read e-books at all or only under absolute duress (6%, 8 Votes)

Total Voters: 130

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6 Comments

  1. Posted September 26, 2012 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    When iTunes offered a free download of Alan Gylnn’s book Limitless (The Dark Fields to original fans) in Starbucks (who doesn’t want a free book with their coffee?) I thought why not, there’s nothing to lose. I wouldn’t choose to buy and read a book I’ve been anticipating on my glowing iPod Touch but if a title intrigues me and is free then I will most definitely put up with it to try out new literature.

  2. Posted September 26, 2012 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    This is a great survey. I’m very interested in seeing the results. I’ve been reading on my smartphone since I’ve had one, and even choose it over the tablet and p-book most of the time. I like the size and the convenience, and I do always have my books on me. I’d even say that reading on my phone entirely changed my reading habits (more books, more spontaneity), and even inspired me to start the digital-first publishing company Le French Book.

  3. Posted September 26, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Reading a book on a smartphone is like drinking a 20 year single malt from a thimble .

  4. Posted September 26, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Reading on my iPhone is extremely annoying. But not reading while waiting for the dentist, my kid’s parent-teacher conference, or the jury verdict, is more annoying.

    Peace, Seeley

  5. Christina Bell
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    I have the kindle app on both my smartphone and tablet. The tablet is obviously easier to read, but the phone is much more accessible and convenient when I am out and about. Packed into a full subway car during the morning commute, there is not always enough space to hold a book in front of me, but I can usually hold my phone.

  6. loretta ramsey
    Posted October 16, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    would like to readybooks as part of a survey

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