eInk versus paper: exploring the effects of medium and typographic quality on recall and reading speed


  • Jeanne-Louise Moys
  • Loveland Peter
  • Mary C Dyson


Translation, Psychology, Metacognition, Reading rate, E-books, Performance evaluation, Quality, Electronic book readers, Reading comprehension, Typesetting, Recall, Typography


This study compares the effects of reading from paper and an eInk display on recall and reading speed alongside the effects of changes in typographic quality (fluent and disfluent conditions). Both medium and typographic quality were between-subject variables resulting in four groups of participants. Each participant was timed while they read one text. They then completed a general questionnaire before answering multiple-choice questions evaluating their recall of the content they had read. Comparable reading speeds for paper and eInk were recorded and these were slower for disfluent conditions. Improved typographic quality significantly enhanced recall on eInk, whereas for paper participants who read the disfluent condition recalled more. These findings suggest that typographic quality has a significant effect on reading, which is also influenced by the medium. Although recall was better in the disfluent paper condition, some caution should be observed in translating this into recommendations that would result in more effortful reading.