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Print vs. Digital Reading

Posted by on Dec 3, 2013 in Technology | 0 comments

A recent article on scientificamerican.com discusses the pros and cons of reading paper books vs. reading digitally converted novels. Interestingly, research tends to be yielding results that are steadily moving in favor of digital reading.

In the 80’s, most research found that those who read on paper withheld the knowledge better. However, ever since then, the results have gotten increasingly less consistent, according to the article. This may be because more people are slowly becoming accustomed to digital readers.

Attitudes toward the way we use technology may have more to do with our digital reading ability than we realize. Since most schools still don’t allow technology in classrooms, people 10 years old and up will probably learn to associate paper books with learning. They’ll be more likely to take reading with books seriously, since that’s how they were required to learn growing up. Digital reading, for most people, is still more closely associated with social networking, texting, or mindlessly surfing the web.

However, one physical advantage books have over Kindles, tablets, laptops and smartphones is that the glare doesn’t hurt readers’ eyes. As the article cites, many people experience several medical side effects from spending too long staring at a screen.

Once we find a way to jump the hurdle of eye damage and digital reading becomes more wide-spread, reading on a tablet will be just as effective as using a book. This will help the spread of information, allowing people to have store hundreds of books on one device. Students will no longer have to tote around heavy books—they can simply shove a kindle in their bag or a smartphone in their pocket.

When society begins to accept digital readers, they will become more useful.

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