Print, e-books more engaging than enhanced e-books, study says

screen-shot-2012-05-29-at-10-54-16-amDigital Book World reports on an interesting study of interactions between 32 parent-child pairs when reading print books with either e-books or “enhanced” books. The preliminary results (PDF) have just been released, and suggest that children are less engaged and retain fewer details about what they read when they read an enhanced book than when they read a regular e-book or print book.

Among both parents and children, the level of content-related actions—discussing or pointing to something in the story—remained about the same from print to regular e-books, but dramatically dropped off from print to “enhanced” e-books. The level of non-content-related actions went up from print to e-books, but went significantly higher from print to enhanced e-books, in both.

The study also showed that children in the print/basic e-book pairs actually recalled more story details from the e-book versions than the printed versions, but the print/enhanced e-book pairs recalled significantly fewer from the enhanced e-books.

The study’s authors concluded that designers should be careful when adding potentially distracting features to enhanced e-books, and that parents should choose print or basic e-books when literacy is important. However, enhanced e-books may still have their place when it comes to luring more reluctant readers to books.

(Found via PaidContent.)

About Chris Meadows (4152 Articles)
TeleRead Editor Chris Meadows has been writing for us--except for a brief interruption--since 2006. Son of two librarians, he has worked on a third-party help line for Best Buy and holds degrees in computer science and communications. He clearly personifies TeleRead's motto: "For geeks who love books--and book-lovers who love gadgets." Chris lives in Indianapolis and is active in the gamer community.

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