How do you like to read

Which book do you read at the moment? How do you like to read it?

For some time now, the media we read on have been changing, newspapers and books are no longer read only on paper, but on e-book readers and smartphones. We asked ourselves how reading is changing in this environment and what the future of reading looks like. We asked a few designers about this:

1. Which book are you reading right now? How do you like to read it?
2. What do you read every day?
3. What do you think reading will look like in the future?

Joachim Baldauf

I always read several books at the same time. At the moment these are Susan Sontag “On Photography” and More “The Unveiling of the Future”.

Both in the classic way as printed books. Then I browse online on the subject of artificial intelligence and buy corresponding books. Right now I'm really keen on it.

Frank Berzbach

Arne Reimer: American Jazz Heros. Vol. 2, JAZZ thing Verlag, Cologne: 2016. The photographer made house visits to jazz legends, wrote excellent texts about them and took great photographs beyond the clichés. I am completely immersed in this band (as in the first), an inspiring pleasure and at the same time the preparation for texts about jazz that I will write in the near future.

I only read books, magazines and newspapers on paper. I can concentrate better on it, I like the feel and smell of paper, value the book as an object and enjoy the change from working on the computer. I become very calm and clear when I read, get ideas and learn from books.

Antonia M. Cornelius
Type designer and graphic designer

Ulrich Schnabel: Leisure. The happiness of doing nothing. Blessing Verlag, 2010.

I prefer to read paper books, I have not yet got used to e-books. It is important to me to experience a book as a whole, with format, paper, scope and design. But I really enjoy listening to audio books when I vectorize something on the computer or edit photos.

Judith Drews

I always have several books on my desk at the same time. At the moment it is an amusing mix when I take a closer look: David Bowie - The biography, The biography authorized by DIE ÄRZTE, Brief Notes on Tropical Butterflies by John Murray, 100 years of tattoos, Tommy Tatze by Axel Scheffler, Abris by Emmanuelle Houdart and a self-drawn pixi book by my big daughter for her little sister!

I still prefer to read books in print, on beautiful paper and I like to read them illustrated. I like turning the pages, using bookmarks, and the book as an object. In reality, however, it is currently the case that there is little time with watchful eyes to read and for this reason I like to use audio books while drawing.

Fortunately, there are great implementations in this area with speakers who are happy to listen to for hours.

Johannes Erler
Founder of ErlerSkibbeTönsmann

I have to read every day. A book in bed in the evening. Otherwise I can't fall asleep. At the moment it is "89/90" by Peter Richter. A very funny and intelligent book about the last summer in the GDR from the perspective of a 15 year old. Before that, 950 pages of “A Little Life” by Hanya Yanagihara. Hard stuff about the life of an abused boy.

In fact, I still prefer to read books made entirely of paper. I got so used to it. Nothing against eBooks.

Robert Eysoldt
Creative Consultant at Zerooverhead Consulting

I'm currently reading CULTURE by Terry Eagleton. In this, Eagleton defines culture as a formative aspect of our human existence and spans the arc from classics such as Johann Gottfried Herder and Oscar Wilde to today's Hollywood.

I really enjoy reading real books. At home and when traveling. I couldn't get used to eBooks, which is most likely also due to the fact that my entire working day takes place in front of a screen. I rediscovered the podcasts. But then I prefer formats like SERIAL and not traditional audio books.

Johanna Höflich
Graphic designer

“Überbitten” by Deborah Feldmann. A very interesting biographical story about breaking out of a strictly religious Jewish community. Content great. Unfortunately, the cover has a linen look instead of real linen, so I was a bit disappointed when I picked up the book from the bookstore.

I sleep best when I read paper books beforehand. I rarely read e-books if the book object is not close to my heart and I am happy if it is not lying around with me. I like audio books so that I don't get bored on long car journeys. But I never go as deeply into it as when reading.

Sonja Knecht

At the moment I'm reading “The God in a Nut” by Christian Lehnert (yes, with Eszett, new publication in old spelling) - language really great and varied, content great (prose, poetry, fantastic reflections in short pieces), typography neat. So also the ranking of my criteria. That's why there are long-term loves like Robert Walser, Robert Musil, the Manns, from the contemporary Wolfgang Herrndorf (warmest recommendation: work and structure) and the Viennese Xaver Bayer (born 1977), whom I have been following since his first book, so to speak. Because of its crystal clear language and intensity of perception. And Franz Kafka. It's one of my big favorites, timeless. I have been rediscovering it for some time and again and again (inspired by Julia Sysmäläinen's Mister K and her philological approach to writing a few years ago); now I'm looking forward to the recently published, lush Kafka biography by Rainer Stach (three volumes plus additional volume on Kafka's everyday life and environment). I want to dive into that. Already ready and I smile when I see the thick slipcase. That there was someone like Kafka and that his lyrics survived is a godsend.

I read paper books. I want to touch pages and turn the pages! Of course I read (and write) a lot online, short texts, Twitter, FB, for information and resonance reasons, to keep in touch, for fun; my main medium of correspondence is email. I miss my intense pen-friendships, it used to be the same and was time-consuming, but also thought-intensive, friendship-intensifying, beautiful.

Interestingly, I was recently reminded of this by female students several times (when I asked about their reading and writing habits): The pen pal format still exists! Analogous! I am now reviving it too, I have made up my mind, and fortunately (because I was "written to") it has already turned out that way, by email for a long time, now also by hand. I am already writing letters and postcards here and there, and that's great. I can only recommend. For many reasons (effect, interplay, reflection, gain in knowledge).

I am interested in all text formats. All language styles and forms of communication. That's the fun with the new media, too, the limitation on Twitter, for example, that brings out a lot of great things. People do text art, philosophy - or just their thing. Many design with language, design themselves and their language in the funniest way. New forms of language are emerging. I don't use e-books; I have (and don't want to) an e-reader. There is hardly anything more nonsensical or ugly about the device. I don't listen to “audio books” either. I've tested it, I don't enjoy it, I get a tempo and a voice that always carries the mood. I want the text directly and I want to do it myself. A book is a book and reading is something active and haptic for me.

Daniel Kuhlmann

Samuel Beckett: Don't Wish I Would Change: Letters 1957–1965

Definitely paper. No disturbing electronics. Pencil and a haptic memory when looking for something.

Martin Lorenz
Graphic designer and founder of

"Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things" by William McDonough, Michael Braungart. “World Design - A Political Design Theory” by Friedrich von Borries and “Rabbit is sooo tired” by Axel Scheffler and Julia Donaldson

Paper books.

Nora Marleen

"Black" from the series "The Dark Tower" by Stephen King (probably for the fourth time, meanwhile.) "The mad reporter" by Egon Erwin Kisch

In paper form, preferably in a softcover, as you can maltreat these books with a clear conscience. In audio book form I only consume Heinz Strunk works, these also at least once a week for work, as they have a concentration-promoting effect on me. But I also really appreciate it when something is read out again on WDR5.

Franziska Parschau
Community Relations Manager at Adobe

I'm just reading Juli Zeh's “Empty Hearts”.

I have different readings: newspapers - only in the browser, online; Books: paperback or hardcover only; I don't read eBooks and I rarely listen to audio books. For me, reading the BOOK is primarily about actively disconnecting from the world, doing nothing and entering new, different worlds. I also don't read magazines any more, because usually too little new appears to me, too many short texts and pictures. Every now and then I buy the magazine “Reportagen”.

Daniel Perraudin
Graphic designer and type designer

“German Lesson” by Siegfried Lenz. A book that I've wanted to read for a long time. I recently found a very nice, simple hardcover edition at the flea market and it has been with me ever since.

That always depends ... I get quick, quick information online from Spiegel Online or the Tagesschau app. For longer reading, I clearly prefer the printed form, if only because a printed book has a completely different haptic quality: the cover, the cover design, the paper color and temperature, searching forwards and backwards, browsing, the possibility of your favorite passages to mark and at the end to have lots of little post-its spread over the book. In addition, people with a “real” book stand out pleasantly in the subway compared to all the others who just stare dully into their smartphone.

Rüdiger Quass from Deyen
Design Director and founder of KD1FH Münster

I am currently reading “The Zealot” by Reza Aslan. Maybe it has to do with the season ... but actually it's been up to me for a while and I finally have time for it.

I actually prefer to read analog books. Such a generation thing? No idea. That's right, I can just see how far I'm going in the book and have a last page. This is a reading experience that should not be underestimated.

Frank Rausch
User Interface Typographer

I like crime novels and thrillers as bedtime reading. At the moment I'm in the middle of the "Brilliance" trilogy by Marcus Sakey in the English-language original. Simon Beckett's “The Restless Dead” is already waiting. I am looking forward.

I no longer read specialist and non-fiction books before going to bed. I can switch off better with conversational reading.

I almost always read fiction as eBooks on my Kindle. The display quality of the screen is wonderful. The relatively new typeface called “Bookerly” is also very pleasant. As a typographer, the lack of attention to detail in terms of typesetting and microtypography hurts me: eBooks could be so much more creative in terms of design if the device manufacturers showed more passion for them!

But that's no reason for me to stick to paper bitterly. What I like about the eBook reader is that I can read without additional lighting, always have all books to hand and even ready to buy - and above all, not to fill my shelves with paperbacks that I only read once anyway.

Ulrike Rausch
Font designer LiebeFonts

I usually read several books at the same time depending on where I am. In bed before going to sleep, I'm reading “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” by Robert M. Pirsig. When I sit on the couch, I usually read specialist books. At the moment it is on the one hand “World of Writing” and then “Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman. The third reading station is then the subway or sometimes the waiting room. Here I like to get the magazine “ZEIT Wissen” out of my pocket in analogue form or I look at the interesting articles I have saved in the reading list on my cell phone.

I still love reading analogue, but pragmatism often wins out for me and then I'm happy that the Kindle takes up so much less space in my luggage and offers me a wider selection of titles in the original language.

Katrin Rodegast
Paper Art & Illustration

I am currently listening to the audio book “The Big Red Son” by David Foster Wallace, read by Moritz von Uslar.

I prefer to listen to audiobooks because I can do it very well at work too. I also find audio books perfect for falling asleep. On vacation, however, I use real paper books. I don't read eBooks because I find digital reading - after a day at work at the computer - tiring and confusing for the eyes.

Raban Ruddigkeit
Designer, author and founder of Brousse & Ruddigkeit

Who fears the death of Nnedi Okorafor, an African fantasy-horror-rookie and again and again the Daudedsching of Laudse in a Reclam edition from 1978.

After thoroughly testing eBooks and audio books, I only read softcover editions. I can throw them next to the bed, put them in front of the door & put dog-ears in. .-)

Jürgen Siebert
Marketing Director Monotype


If so, then printed.

Marc Thiele
Founder and organizer of Beyond Tellerrand

Right now I'm reading "Twitter and Tear Gas - The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest" by Zeynep Tufekci.

I still prefer to read on paper because I can make notes on the side of the book here and somehow - very old-fashioned - I like it when books get a certain patina when you read them. Nevertheless, I also read on the Kindle every now and then, which is especially useful when you're on vacation.