Go Read This | Sit Back, Relax, and Read That Long Story—on Your Phone – Megan Garber – The Atlantic

I’ve been doing most of my reading (books, magazines and websites) on my mobile for some time now (since I first got hooked on Kindle on an iPod Touch). I’ve felt that mobile is too easily dismissed as a platform for reading books for some time and this timely piece caught my eye. It’s interesting too in the light of Pew’s most recent data which found that “About a third (32%) of e-book readers still say they sometimes read e-books on their cell phone, reflecting both the ubiquity of mobile phones and the convenience of these phones as supplementary reading devices“:

Earlier this month, Buzzfeed published a piece called “Why I Bought a House in Detroit for $500.” The story ended up getting more than a million pageviews, which is notable because it is also more than 6,000 words long. The other notable thing: 47 percent of those views came from people accessing the story on mobile devices. And while people who read the piece on tablets spent an average of more than 12 minutes with the story, those doing so on phones  spent more than 25 minutes—a small eternity, in Internet time. 

via Sit Back, Relax, and Read That Long Story—on Your Phone – Megan Garber – The Atlantic.

One thought on “Go Read This | Sit Back, Relax, and Read That Long Story—on Your Phone – Megan Garber – The Atlantic

  1. Hi Eoin,

    A couple of things:

    – Mobile reading: I think mobile reading is perfect for “long short reads”, i.e. a long newspaper article, but not full-book length. I’m still fairly old school – I don’t have a Kindle, I don’t have a Kindle app; I downloaded Kobo but have never used it. I read actual books (our home would not be our home without the thousands of books we own). I occasionally listen to audiobooks (I have a sub with Audible, which I can’t really say is good value or not – yet – but listening to Bill Bryson read his own work is almost, almost, as good as the real thing, and I can do it while driving…)

    So I’m fairly old school, but I do think mobile is great for those long short reads – 20-30 minutes, or even longer. (I read an incredible magazine piece from Texas Monthly over several days’ commute time last year: http://www.texasmonthly.com/story/innocent-man-part-one)

    I haven’t graduated to reading full-length books on mobile yet. Maybe that will come in time, but for now (and for the foreseeable future) I value not looking at a screen for an hour or two a day. I really like the phrase “supplementary reading devices”. For me, anything that isn’t real paper is supplementary.

    – Print v digital: I used to be in the camp of the virtues of the “versus”. For some time I felt like it was one or the other. I’m slowly but irrevocably embracing the whole. It’s all just reading, and the more you read, the more you’ll be tempted to read even more. So print reading begets digital reading begets print reading begets audiobooks. I’m very excited by the future for books – in all forms.

    – Pew study: Thanks so much for pointing me in the direction of this. I must admit I allowed a little whoop of joy when I saw that the highest proportion of print readers is in the 18-29 category. That age group is reading more of everything, which is just brilliant!

    – Time on page analytics: Having spent countless hours poring over Google Analytics data, I am never able to explain the discrepancies between “time on page”. This looks like another – why would it be twice as long on mobile as on tablet? Does anyone really read twice as fast on tablet as on mobile? I just don’t buy that.

    Just my two cents.


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