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Old 10-31-2009, 03:56 PM   #1
AgentBEATS
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How You Hold A Book When Reading

I've never really given much though to it, but now that I've begun searching for a E-Reader that would fit my needs it's come to mind that how you hold a book equates to comfort of reading.

I'm right handed, but I prefer holding whatever I read in my left hand. While I assume this is probably common, from what I've seen a majority of E-Readers seem to accommodate for the right hand more. Obviously a lot of E-Readers are made to so it can be used from the right or left hand, but from what I've seen it would not be so comfortable for me to read from them.

My style of reading I guess you could call it, would be holding the book from the bottom with my left hand and with an E-Reader device, I would want to do the same. While with a real book I would occasionally use my right hand to turn the page, with an E-Reader it would be nice to be able to change the page comfortably from the position I'm holding it.

So my point of this brings up 2 questions really. First, what device would fit my needs? This is very non-specific, I'm just wanting something comfortable to hold and change page from my left hand. Second, what is your reading style and how did this equate to your E-Reader choice?
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Old 10-31-2009, 04:20 PM   #2
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This is a very interesting topic. I typically read in bed, or couch. I am pretty nearsighted. When I read, I often remove my glasses and hold the reading material close to my face. It's not unusual for me to prop some pillows against a wall and put my head against them, holding EVEN A LAPTOP up in the air fairly close to my face while I lie on my back and read. I have often even typed messages on the keyboard in that position!

I also sit on the bed or couch as I am now, supported on one elbow, leaning over a laptop, even doing full ten-finger typing as I am now.

With my ebook reader, the Kindle 2, I read in the same positions, but holding the Kindle in the air is a lot easier than holding the laptop.

You can easily turn pages on the Kindle 2 from either side -- the only drawback is that the buttons on the right side have a selection for Next Page, but above that is a Home button. Usually to get back to the previous page you need to hit the Previous page button,which is only located on the left side of the device. The left side of the device also has a Next Page button.

So, sometimes when I want Previous Page, I accidentally hit the Home button on the right side, but that is an exceedingly easily corrected problem.

I would guess that though this is an interesting topic, it is easy to deal with most e-readers, and though one may have a tiny advantage over another, the big issues are things like quality of display or price of reading materials.
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Old 10-31-2009, 04:36 PM   #3
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I've posted these before, but I can't find the message. I have a Kindle 1 and like you, prefer to hold the book reader in my left hand so I can be doing something else (like eating) with my dominant hand. Here's my usual holding position & the slight move to tap the "Next Page" button.



The biggest change came with reading in bed because I was used to laying on my left side & holding the book over the top with my left hand, reaching over with the right hand to turn the page. It took a while, but I finally worked out a comfortable alternative for the eBook reader.
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Old 11-01-2009, 04:37 AM   #4
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Much depends on the cover, I think, Beats. I got an 'easy i' leather fliptop for my PRS-505. Not only does it make the device free standing if you're reading while you eat, but a little leather loop at the back means it's easily supported by slipping two fingers of the left hand through that, leaving the thumb free to turn pages -- more comfortable than any paperback of hardback could possibly be. Ideal for single-handed reading, tough but soft-leather and it even smells like something you're not allowed to take out of the library. Neil
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Old 11-01-2009, 05:22 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by neilmarr View Post
Much depends on the cover, I think, Beats. I got an 'easy i' leather fliptop for my PRS-505. Not only does it make the device free standing if you're reading while you eat, but a little leather loop at the back means it's easily supported by slipping two fingers of the left hand through that, leaving the thumb free to turn pages -- more comfortable than any paperback of hardback could possibly be. Ideal for single-handed reading, tough but soft-leather and it even smells like something you're not allowed to take out of the library. Neil
Hmm, I never quite thought about a cover as well. But that is a good piece of information to think about. I guess I have a lot more research to do before I pick what device I want to get. Not to mention actually getting the money for said device, but I'll skip the details.

Thanks for the reply.
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Old 11-01-2009, 05:33 AM   #6
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I read left-handed, like the OP, but I prefer to use my ebook readers without a cover - it adds too much weight. That is, if I'm out and about, I'll use a cover, but at home I just use a silicone skin.

Anyway, I've found the Kindle 2 to fit me best; the wide bezel makes it comfortable to hold. But you're canadian, so I guess it's not an option.

The Hanlin V3 (or Astak Reader) has buttons on the left that's also quite nice to use. It's also very light and easy to hold one-handed. It's a bit utilitarian of design, but overall quite nice.

The Sony 505's left back-and-forth button is also okay, but placed so far to the left that you end up holding the device more by your fingers and that can be a strain. It's definitely better in a cover. The buttons on the Sony 600 seems to be placed well for left-handed use and you can also swipe the touch screen - I've not tried one myself though.

The Cybook didn't work for me, because the button was placed to eth right. Impossible for me to reach when holding left-handed. And right-handed wasn't better, as I'd reach across the button (I have medium-large sized hands for a woman).
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Old 11-01-2009, 01:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geneven View Post
... With my ebook reader, the Kindle 2, I read in the same positions, but holding the Kindle in the air is a lot easier than holding the laptop.

You can easily turn pages on the Kindle 2 from either side -- the only drawback is that the buttons on the right side have a selection for Next Page, but above that is a Home button. Usually to get back to the previous page you need to hit the Previous page button,which is only located on the left side of the device. The left side of the device also has a Next Page button.

So, sometimes when I want Previous Page, I accidentally hit the Home button on the right side, but that is an exceedingly easily corrected problem ...
For the most part, I like the Kindle arrangement, but sometimes I also hit the wrong button. The Nook seems to have an even better way of doing things; with both sides having page forward buttons and above those, page back buttons. The home button appears to be located in the center of the touchscreen.

But the Nook is also an ounce heavier than the Kindle. This could "outweigh" the button advantage.
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Old 11-01-2009, 06:37 PM   #8
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I use one hand normally and just change hands at will. Per example if the buttons are more easy to use - left for the 505, right for the Cybook - or if I’m just tired, like reading laying back in bed or sofa.

Best regards,
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Old 11-02-2009, 03:41 AM   #9
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I've always felt that the page-turn buttons on the 505 would be easier to use if they were slightly convex rather than slightly concave (though I do realise that this design point could be to reduce the risk of accidental page-turning). I was thinking of sticking little studs to them to raise their profile a little. Anyone tried this? Cheers. Neil
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Old 11-02-2009, 02:30 PM   #10
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Interesting question

I use my 3.75inch palm left handed and one handed, rotated to landscape view and use my left hand to tap the forward button - the unit weighs about 200g and is about at the limit of what I find comfortable in one hand.

I'd like to use an e-ink device in a similar manner, though possibly not rotated which is why I'lm looking at 5 inch devices. But I haven't got any certainty yet about whether the button lay out will work well for that.
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Old 11-02-2009, 03:05 PM   #11
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Take a look here:
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=58792
These are three hand positions that work well on a jetBook.

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Old 11-02-2009, 04:09 PM   #12
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This is a huge issue when it comes to designing eReaders, actually.

With the iPhone, I switch hands alot when using it. What I love about Stanza is, they let you set the "page forward" tap to be not just left side, or right side, but BOTH (to go back a page, swipe works fine). I wonder if the other eBook readers ever bothered to test this stuff. Going to preferences to change the tap zone every time you switch hands to use something is just ridiculous.
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Old 11-02-2009, 04:44 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neilmarr View Post
I've always felt that the page-turn buttons on the 505 would be easier to use if they were slightly convex rather than slightly concave (though I do realise that this design point could be to reduce the risk of accidental page-turning). I was thinking of sticking little studs to them to raise their profile a little. Anyone tried this? Cheers. Neil
I've never noticed they were concave - though since I've started to use a silicone skin, all buttons have been sort of concave. But perhaps you mean the back and forward buttons at the edge of the right side? I have not tried it, but I think a small stud to raise their profile is a brilliant idea. Now that I think about it, perhaps that's why I never used them much. They are just too hard to press comfortable if hold the 505 in your right hand, but a convex profile would help.
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Old 11-02-2009, 04:59 PM   #14
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I have a Hanlin V5 which has 3 ways of page turning - middle left, middle right and bottom. I vary which I use according to my position - sitting up, lying in bed on my left or rigt side.
That's one reason I find myself using the V5 more than my V3.
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Old 11-02-2009, 09:34 PM   #15
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As many of you have mentioned, people vary how they hold a book/e-reader depending on the situation. While I've said that I primarily hold a book at the bottom with my left hand, of course it is true of me as well that I change where I hold it. But I find my primary use to be bottom left of a book, usually along the spine, with my left hand, so making me think that is how I would hold an e-reader. Which e-readers would accommodate to that best?
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