The ABA Journal had a news link today titled, “Do Judges Read Online Briefs Differently? Brief Writers May Need to Be Briefer“. The post discussed a Texas Lawyer article on e-filing and what that might mean to legal writing. Interesting stuff. The idea of fewer words to convey a point may be necessary if reading moves primarily to a screen.
A colleague once asserted that there was a bunch of literature showing that reading on screen was slower than reading from paper, and he was right. Here are some examples of studies that support this premise:
- Dillon, A., McKnight, C. and Richardson, J. (1988) Reading from paper versus reading from screens. The Computer Journal, 31(5), 457-464. Available here
- Mangen, A., (2008) Hypertext fiction reading: haptics and immersion. Journal of Research in Reading, 31(4), 404–419, Abstract and Mentioned in the Chronicle of Higher Education
- Paper Because. “It is easier to learn on paper“
- Today @ PC World, Reading on Paper is Faster than iBooks on the iPad, July 5 2010
Personally, I am enamoured of all the methods of consuming the written word. Consuming hyperlinked case law is bliss. I find joy in not keeping my spouse awake by reading in the dark with my back lit iPad…brings back memories of my youth with a flash light under the covers. I enjoy every visit to the public library, and I am looking forward to finishing the bookshelves in my new house where my collection of triage, tripe, and triumph will be displayed and accessible for revisiting. I relish time spent in bookstores for both new and recycled items.
If writing with fewer words becomes necessary for technology, I hope that only occurs for certain types of writing.
If you were wondering what to get me for Christmas, choose a book.