To the notion that reading an actual book is better than reading on an electronic device, we sigh a collective, eye-rolling “Duh.” But did you know that science is on our team? This short Arts.Mic article from Jon Levine lists a few specifics: memory, concentration and sexiness/empathy. All of these areas are boosted when reading a physical book versus an electronic book, according to globe-spanning studies.
Man, just one of those improvements would do it for me.
Useful vocabulary word for the article: haptic – of or relating to the sense of touch (thanks Google dictionary).
This PRI article goes into greater detail on the concentration aspect. Even now, I’m typing here, but my eye keeps shooting up to the top of the screen to check notifications or little flashy, bright, shiny bits, just out of obsessive curiosity, like a dog walking through a pet store. There’s nothing to click on in a paper book. It’s disorienting, and makes me fidgety, but once I settle in, it’s kinda nice. This behavior – which is totally normal when reading on a computer screen – makes it difficult to engage in what the article calls “deep reading”.
Thankfully, it’s not an either/or proposition. Just rest assured, fellow bookhound – you are absolutely in the right to be obsessed with your little paper babies. An eReader might be handy, but it is not a replacement.