Books better than e-readers: a possible reason

A study by Anne Mangen of Norway’s Stavanger University suggests that print books are better than electronic forms of the same books, with a few theories as to why: haptic feedback, the separation of processes enabling the mind to breathe and integrate the story…. my personal thought is that it has to do with the actual physical aspect of the reading as well.

From the Guardian, in Readers absorb less on Kindles than on paper, study finds:

“When you read on paper you can sense with your fingers a pile of pages on the left growing, and shrinking on the right,” said Mangen. “You have the tactile sense of progress, in addition to the visual … [The differences for Kindle readers] might have something to do with the fact that the fixity of a text on paper, and this very gradual unfolding of paper as you progress through a story, is some kind of sensory offload, supporting the visual sense of progress when you’re reading. Perhaps this somehow aids the reader, providing more fixity and solidity to the reader’s sense of unfolding and progress of the text, and hence the story.”

Maybe they’re right. I think that for me it’s largely a matter of the fact that the medium is the same, every time. When I read on a Kindle, or a Nook, or – more commonly – my Surface 3, every book’s container is the same.

If you’re wondering, my common reading application is Nook for PC. The Kindle application is really pretty nice as well, but at present the Amazon cloud won’t let me read my uploaded content on the Surface – and I resent that.

Every book I’ve read on the Nook has the visual appearance of every other book on the Nook (and I’m no crook.) I can’t think “Oh, that’s the doorstopper with the silver cover and the wolf on the front,” because the feel of every book is exactly the same.

It’s anecdotal, to be sure – but I think I could tell you which books I read on which device without thinking too hard about it.

I love print books, honestly – but I’m trying to phase them out as much as I can. I already have a wall full of books, and that’s after cruelly purging twice as many books as I still have. I think every one of my physical books could easily fit in any of my e-readers, and there’s no comparison when it comes to transporting the data and flexibility.

Moving to an e-reader is doing a lot to help preserve my sanity.

But it’d be nice if there were more variability in the electronic books – something like how web sites have unique looks and feels, something to give the books an individual stamp – because the e-readers themselves strip away that uniqueness, and my personal feeling is that the books need that uniqueness to stand out in our minds – and that would improve how much we retain what we read.

I’m going to turn on the publisher’s preferences in my e-reader – just to see if that helps. I don’t think it will, though, because most publishers use the same formatting for every book they create.

Florida State Football: Why So Unprepared?

My sarcastic comment to my son during the Oregon/FSU game – where FSU got smeared like a bug on a shoe – was that at least FSU had the excuse of not having known who the opponent would be.

Except, of course, we did know that we were going to play Oregon.

I guess that maybe the excuse turns into “At least FSU didn’t have a way to examining any game film on Oregon, so the pace caught them by surprise.”

At least the latter part of that statement is true! FSU was caught flat-footed by a very fast-paced Oregon attack – the “Blur offense” – and had no answer for it. Add to that FSU’s turnovers, and you had a terrific win by Oregon in which FSU looked slow and outmatched and outcoached.

I don’t mind the loss. Losses happen. It’d be a poor person indeed who couldn’t handle losses – even bad ones.

I do mind being outcoached from top to bottom. We never really compensated for their defense; we never compensated for their offense.

We had weeks to make sure we were conditioned for Oregon’s pace. We knew what they wanted to do on offense. Why, why, why didn’t we come in ready for them? Why was FSU left to twist in the wind?

Well… why not, I suppose. It’s not like FSU came into any game this year looking like it was ready to play; FSU played every game from the third quarter on, and that’s just not a good way to win and stay winning. FSU was good enough to make it work every game until it ran into an opponent that was prepared from start to finish.

I’m glad to see loyalty in the program… but at some point our coaches have to take the games seriously, and come in with a plan designed to annihilate the team’s opponents, as opposed to just riding with a default game plan and hoping.

We saw FSU’s defense take a terrible dip in quality from last year to this year – from a coaching standpoint. One expects and accepts that players come and go; one does not accept that the players available don’t have the preparation that a program of FSU’s stature should demand.

Java Authors, Learn Java

I was reading a book on Neo4J and encountered this sentence:

What is the secret of Neo4J’s speed?

No, Neo4j developers haven’t invented a superfast algorithm for the military. Nor is Neo4j’s speed a product of the fantastic speed of the technologies it relies on (it’s implemented in Java after all!) (Emphasis mine. Quote is from Manning Publications’ “Neo4j in Action,” by Vokotic, Watt, and others.)

Come on, people! It’s 2015 now! Isn’t it time to put away the myth that Java’s intrinsically slow?