'I'd rather buy the book'

10th March 2006 at 00:00
Caroline Horn: "Icue's system for accessing its technology and bookshop has been made as simple as possible, although my attempts to browse the bookshop using a three-year-old colour Nokia failed: I spent about pound;2 on texts and accessing the internet in the process.

"I had, however, already read part of a book on a mobile. While it took a few minutes to get used to the format and to control the speed of the display, reading one word at a time was easier then I expected. But I missed being able to scan sentences and to glance back over any points I had missed. I do wonder whether comprehension levels will match the process of reading on paper, especially as mobile users are likely to be on the move."

Michael Morrissey: "It looked professional and attractive, but it can't compete with all the other things you can download on your phone: video clips, mp3 files and ringtones. I preferred the Page option where you see about 50 words at once, to the Flicker (one word at a time) and Ticker (words in a horizontal line) options. Even with the Page option I wasn't really concentrating on the words, because you had to keep pressing the button. To be honest, if I was going to spend that money I'd rather buy the book. I can see you might use it for revision of something you'd read already."

Paraic Morrissey: "The Flicker option was the worst. When it was fast you felt like you were skipping words. Even the Page option was annoying. You have to start by selecting a chapter and then scroll through to the page you were on. If you get a call or a text while you are reading you have to go back and select the chapter again. It's a nice idea, but I don't think it will last."

Michael and Paraic Morrissey are in Year 9 at Pimlico School, London borough of Westminster Lucy Steer: "I couldn't access the site with my Motorola, but with my mum's Nokia it was really easy and I downloaded the only free book available, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. It took less than a minute to download.

I found it quite hard to read, though, because you had to concentrate to make sure you didn't miss any of it. I concentrated so much on the words that I didn't really think about what I was reading. I tried it for a few minutes but I got a bit bored.

"I also read All About Rachel by Sarah Mlynowski. It took me a couple of minutes to find the right speed to read at so I found I was reading a bit and then going back and reading it again. I found it quite hard to remember what I had read. I tried it for about five minutes, but I don't think I'd manage a whole book."

Lucy Steer is in Year 8 at Tunbridge Wells grammar school TES verdict?

The technology can be frustrating even for a generation living on its phone, especially if parents are paying the bill and have set up a block aimed at other kinds of downloads. The range of books aimed at hard-to-reach teenage boys is small but seems likely to grow.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today