Alice in Wonderland Google Play books bookplate

Alice in Wonderland Google Play books Harvard College Library bookplate

I’ve now got used to being able to read a book on an ebook reader across several platforms whenever I want.  Counting up the platforms I’ve realised that I’ve got several ebook systems setup with Kindle, Google Play books, ibooks and Calibre.  I’ve also got Kindle reading apps on a couple of PCs, an ipad and a phone, and I’ve a Kindle ebook reader.

So over the past few weeks I’ve been trying to keep track of when I’m reading ebooks, to help to understand what my patterns of reading are, and particularly what devices I am using, what I’m doing and where I am.  I’m also been trying to think about what the reasons might be for me using a particular device at that time.

Patterns of use
I’m reading ebooks largely at certain times of the day.  Mainly either at lunchtimes or in the evenings.  There is occasional use during the day at weekends.  I also find that at evenings and weekends I’m splitting my reading between ebooks and print books.  The only difference to that pattern is if I happen to be travelling by train or as a car passenger.

Lengths of time spent reading.
In the main I’m tending to read for short periods of time of 10-15 minutes with breaks.  When travelling I tend to spend longer periods of time reading of 30 minutes to an hour.  Interesting to me is that I tend to read print books for longer (and that may be down to where I am when I’m reading print books).  Occasionally I’m reading just a few pages for five minutes when I’m out and about.

Device use
When I’m out and about and reading ebooks on my phone it’s just for short periods of time, while I’m waiting for something.  Occasionally I’ll read ebooks on the phone for longer periods when travelling, but that seems mainly due to having the phone to hand, rather than the Kindle or tablet.  I’m always aware that power usage on the phone means that it won’t last a full day without recharging, so if there’s an alternative to the phone I’ll use that.  Reading ebooks on the phone as an experience is actually fine.

On journeys I’m tending to use the Kindle and I think that this is mainly because the power on the Kindle lasts for longer that phone or tablet, so even if I have both I’ll use the Kindle if I have it with me.  But I’ve noticed that I’ve started to take the Kindle with me less and less, if I know I’m going to be somewhere I can recharge the tablet.  The key consideration is that I can do other things with the phone/tablet so will want to save them for phone calls/text/internet.

At home I’m tending to use the tablet for ebook reading.  Mainly I think for convenience as I can recharge it when I want and switch between ebooks and browsing/looking things up.  A true multi-window tablet experience would be good though.  At lunchtimes I’m mainly using the ebook app on the laptop which is my main device at work.  If I’m sat at my desk it’s the easiest device to use.

I’m using the phone for mainly short periods of time, reading just a handful of pages.  For longer periods of time of say 30-60 minutes I’m reading the tablet or laptop.  For longer periods of time than that I’m using the Kindle generally.   What I find interesting is that I’ll use whatever device is to hand, but if I’ve more than one device with me then I’m thinking about how much power is left in the device and how easy is it to switch the device on.

What I meant to add at the end of the post (and completely forgot), was why I titled this blog post ‘ebooks and analytics’.  Amazon clearly collect data about what devices you are using, when you are using them and what you are reading on them.  So wouldn’t it be good for you as an individual to have access to that data?