While there is something to be said for the convenience offered by e-books, more than 85 per cent of American readers continue to read printed copies of books, as well. There’s nothing like the smell of opening a well-read old book, or being the first to crack the spine of a brand-new one – and being able to enjoy a book for hours on end without having to worry about battery life is pretty great.
Reading will bring all kinds of valuable improvements to your health and happiness no matter what, but there are certain benefits that can only be gained by reading a real, printed book.
Not that it’s a race to get your reading done – but if you’re pressed for time or you’re just eager to devour the newest release from your favorite author, studies show that reading on a screen can actually slow you down – as much as 20 to 30 per cent, in fact.
According to reports, readers have a better chance of retaining information if they read it from printed pages. The sensation of paper pages beneath your fingertips gives your brain a bit of added context, which contributes to a deepened understanding and improved comprehension of the material you’re studying.
Reading before bed can be a great way to relax, fall asleep faster, and stay asleep longer – but not if you’re exposing yourself to blue screens. The light emitted from tablets, e-readers, and computer can dramatically impact your sleeping habits, and not for the better. You’re much better off putting those devices away an hour before bedtime, and curling up with a paper copy of your favorite reading material.
For avid readers especially, being able to own a physical copy of a book instead of just ‘using’ it provides a fulfilling sense of accomplishment. Not only will you be able to keep track of everything you’ve read, you’ll be able to proudly display it on your bookshelves and recall your memories of the time you spent with each book every time you pass it by.
Certain people, like those with dyslexia or people who are visually impaired, may benefit from the options offered by e-books – like customized text size and line spacing. But for the rest of us, the backlight in these devices can lead to conditions like computer vision syndrome or digital eye strain.