The Slovenia Times

Experts Discussing Digitalisation of Reading


The event as part of the Evolution of Reading in the Age of Digitization (E-READ) project, which will run until 2017, has gathered experts in neuroscience, humanities and social sciences.

Miha Kovač of the publisher Mladinska knjiga said as the meeting opened that some studies suggest that the understanding of long texts is different depending on whether it is read from paper or a display, while some empirical studies have shown that certain properties of tablet computers have a negative impact on the emotional aspect of reading.

According to him, these are the main reasons why the E-READ project was launched last year with help from EU funds as part of the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) action.

The purpose of the project is re-thinking the entire concept of reading and factors that influence reading - from texts and platforms used to technologies enabling reading, including printed books, e-readers and computers.

E-READ will also deal with technological, cultural and commercial factors that triggered the transition to reading in the digital form. Special attention will be dedicated to understanding the role of market mechanisms, such as the systematic reduction of the prices of e-books.

The project is aimed at replacing numerous assumptions and speculations about positive and negative consequences of digital reading with empirical proof and producing indicators that would help in understanding the differences between reading from paper and from a display, Kovač explained.

E-READ will soon launch a website at which results of studies on reading will be published, while a book containing the main conclusions will be presented after the project is wrapped up two years from now.


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