For most people, reading from paper has a certain flow and ease that is irreplaceable. Even those of us who use online courseware or work on a computer all day, and who generally read more print on a computer screen than we do from paper, will probably say that we much prefer paper. There is a solid, trusted feel in paper. As William Powers writes, “We have a sense of where we are” in a book or essay, unlike online courseware material or an online newspaper, where the structure is abstract. Paper documents are reliable and “do not change when we are not looking.”
However, technology like the iLiad, Kindle, and Sony Reader is being developed to provide all the pros of paper print, plus a host of extra capabilities. While most online courseware students might tell you that they still prefer reading from paper, when technologies like the Sony Reader become more popular, future readers may be singing a different tune.
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