Reading vs screen

3 reasons to read on paper this summer

Summer is approaching. Time to let minutes become hours in a hammock or on the beach. But what type of reading should you bring? The traditional paper book or the lighter digital alternative? Here’s why you should consider dragging with you the heavy stuff.

Even though we have many good options for digital reading today, there are reasons to sometimes press the off-button and go with a good old paper book. Studies on digital vs. screen reading have focused mainly on reading in student learning, with results showing for example that printed texts increase reading comprehension. Even though that might not be the number one strive when relaxing with a book on your vacation, some other benefits sure are applicable on casual reading as well. Let’s have a look.


1. Get deeper

When reading on screen, we tend to briefly scan through the text, and generally read in a faster tempo – in higher extent than when we read on paper.

This foremost applies to overall digital web texts, and perhaps not as much to specifically digital books. But it’s not a far too long shot that we, subconsciously, might bring this habitual behaviour to the reading of e-books as well.

According to the shallowing hypothesis “constant exposure to fast-paced, digital media trains the brain to process information more rapidly and less thoroughly.”


2. Remember more

A shallower skimming reading of a text can make it harder to absorb the content of it as well as to remember and follow the chronology.

Some argue it has to do with ”the glare and flicker of screens [that] tax the brain more than paper”, and some that, when it comes to paper reading, “spatial memory for the location of a passage or a chart on a physical paper page can help […] recall information.”

Whatever the reason might be, the physical experience of holding a book, of smelling it, of turning and flip through pages instead of pressing a button or swiping seems to have the ability to “put our minds into an immersive state of concentration” and “facilitate memory retention and recall.”


3. Sooth your brain

It’s no secret that getting some time off from digital screens is good for you. It sooths both eyes and brain from screen light and “visual mental fatigue”.

For many of us, screens are closely connected to work or studies. Even though, for sure, our digital friends can bring joy and fun as well, the borders are blurry – opening you e-mail box is always just one click away. Yet another reason to take a break and go hard core analogue on your vacation.


Enjoy your reading!

To sum up, a physical book, more than an e-book, invites you to slow down, relax and really sink deep into the story – and enhances the chances that you actually remember what you read afterwards.

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