The read-later service Read It Later has released an interesting series of charts breaking down the times that users save articles for later reading, and the times they read those articles on computer, iPad, and iPhone versions of the read-it-later app. They show some interesting patterns in the way that users are time-shifting ads.

Users encounter content throughout the day, and the rate of people saving content to read later is pretty steady from 7:00 a.m. all the way through to 9 p.m. But the interesting thing comes in comparing when and where the articles are read. Computer users reading habits are also pretty steady, peaking around noon and then falling off to after work.

Reading on the iPhone shows four major spikes during the day—breakfast, the morning commute, the commute home, and the late evening, 8-10 p.m.. Since the iPhone is always in its users’ pockets, it is handy for reading whenever and wherever the reader has a spare moment. By comparison, the iPad only has one major spike—the late evening, 8-10 p.m. (Another minor spike occurs at breakfast and the commute home, but the late evening one is far and away the biggest.)

But Read It Later provides one more interesting chart—comparing the computer reading habits of people who own an iPad with the habits of those without. Computer reading for iPad owners spikes dramatically at lunchtime, and then falls off for the rest of the day.

Aside from a quick lunch hour at their desk, iPad owners are no longer doing the majority of their reading on their computers.  They are saving it for their personal prime time, when they can relax comfortably, iPad in hand and burn through the content they found during the day.

In conjunction with applications like Read It Later or Instapaper (and especially considering Instapaper’s new partnership with Readability), the iPad is proving to be as convenient a time-shifter for on-line textual news content as the VCR was for television content. And just as the VCR changed the way people watched TV, the iPad is changing the way we read news on-line.

Whether or not the iPad is going to “save” journalism, it is certainly changing the relationship its owners have with journalistic content. It remains to be seen whether the media can take advantage of it as ably as Hollywood learned to take advantage of the VCR (even after likening it to the “Boston strangler”).

(Found via TechCrunch.)