E-books During Taxi and Take-off

I’ve heard a key motivation behind the FAA requirenent that people “turn off and stow all personal electronics” at the start and end of a commercial flight is that airlines don’t want passengers stumbling over laptops and the like while trying to deplane during an emergency. But I wonder: is there any reason to think that something as compact as a Kindle or an iPad is any more distracting or cumbersome than a newspaper or paperback?

As a frequent traveller, I can certainly appreciate an abundance of caution and a “better safe than sorry” attitude. But as a taxpaying iPad owner, I think I can reasonably expect that some of the ridicolous waste I fund with my tax dollars be diverted instead to something truly worthwhile–like funding a study confirming my suspicion that e-books can safely be put on equal footing with the dead tree variety during taxi and take-off.

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