Is the iPad Changing the Way We Read?

I’m going admit something to you right now, please don’t think less of me for it. I’ve never really used an RSS reader on my Mac. I didn’t even have a Google Reader account until I had the original iPad in my hands.

I read the news online, sure, but normally in a sligthly haphazard and meandering way; drifting through a sea of news sites and magazines, never commiting to read past the first break.

The iPad has changed me. Could it change the way we read, forever?

The Perfect Platform

First, I want to go back and slightly revise my statement (I was a little too bold and concise). The iPad has changed me, and the way I read, but it was not alone. Others are also responsible.

First amongst those are the developers who saw incredible potential in the iPad, the creative people who brought us Reeder, Instapaper, Flipboard, and the many other apps that affect and enchance our lives daily.

I now thoroughly enjoy spending time flicking (swiping?) through my RSS feeds and engaging my brain. I find a great deal more articles that appeal or speak to me every day than I used to in a week. I also consume ‘the news’ in a more committed fashion, opening up the BBC News app daily for a slice of current events, politics, and sport.

Overall, I believe that this change has been for the better. One area in particular has been transformed by the reading experience of the iPad; long-form articles.


It may sound like a gross over-exageration, and a dumbing down of virtue, but I wouldn’t hesitate to say that Instapaper has vastly increased my patience.

While this new patience may have spread into other areas of my life, it has had its most significant impact on my reading. I will now happily read an article several thousand words in length, where before I would have dismissed it immediately.

The experence of reading articles on the iPad, especially using Instapaper, has given my reading habits new life! It’s infinitely more enjoyable, and satisfying, to temper your reading of a vast quantity of short snippets with some in-depth opinion or analysis.

Words You Can Touch

Now I will return to the key premise of this article, is the iPad changng the way we read?

For me, and for many, I can confidently answer in the affirmative. The immersive screen, the convienience, the portability, and the interconnected nature of the iPad is changing the way we interact with the written word; I believe for the better.

It’s strange the sense of disconnection I feel when I go to read long articles on my MacBook, it’s so clumsy and static in comparison. The tactile nature of the iPad makes it ideal for taking it with you and reading in almost any situation. Scrolling through the lines and pages helps to draw you into the experience, while saving longer articles offline for later reading adds depth to the reading potential of the iPad.

One Step Further

Now I’d like to muse on the potential for tablet computing to take the way we consume forward, to change it for the future. Could it be that our new technological marvels could also enable us to adapt and grow in our reading habits, to open up new bounds of understanding and knowledge?

Will the iPad be the catalyst for a change, not only in the way we read, but in what we read and write?

For now I’m going to leave you to ponder the new question before us; will the iPad change the way we read, forever?

Your Thoughts

As always, this is one man’s opinion and I’d love to hear your thoughts? Has the iPad changed how, and what, you read? Will it change the way we read in the future? For the better?

Feel free to get involved and post a comment below!