|People like books. They are convenient and can be accessed easily and enjoyably. In contrast, many view the experience of accessing and exploring electronic documents as dull, cumbersome and disorientating. This thesis claims that modelling digital documents as physical books can significantly improve reading performance. To investigate this claim, a realistic electronic book model was developed and evaluated. In this model, a range of properties associated with physical books---analogue page turning, bookmarks and annotations---are emulated. Advantage is also taken of the digital environment by supporting hyperlinks, multimedia, full-text search over terms and synonyms, automatically cross referencing documents with an online encyclopaedia, and producing a back-of-the-book index. The main technical challenge of simulating physical books is finding a suitable technique for page turning that is sufficiently realistic, yet lightweight, responsive, scalable and accessible. Several techniques were surveyed, implemented and evaluated. The chosen technique allows realistic books to be presented in the Adobe Flash Player, the most widely used browser plug-in on the Web. A series of usability studies were conducted to compare reading performance while performing various tasks with HTML, PDF, physical books, and simulated books. They revealed that participants not only preferred the new interface, but completed the tasks more efficiently, without any loss in accuracy.