Friday, May 17, 2013

E-Books vs. Physical Boooks - Part Two

Tim Challies links to an interesting article by Drake Baer on how your memory works and on the disadvantages of remembering what you read on a screen vs. what you read on paper.  I've heard this before, but was glad to have it explained more clearly.

Baer's post also links to an article in the Scientific American which states:

Even so, evidence from laboratory experiments, polls and consumer reports indicates that modern screens and e-readers fail to adequately recreate certain tactile experiences of reading on paper that many people miss and, more importantly, prevent people from navigating long texts in an intuitive and satisifying way. In turn, such navigational difficulties may subtly inhibit reading comprehension. Compared with paper, screens may also drain more of our mental resources while we are reading and make it a little harder to remember what we read when we are done. A parallel line of research focuses on people's attitutudes toward different kinds of media. Whether they realize it or not, many people approach computers and tablets with a state of mind less conducive to learning than the one they bring to paper.

Friends, I love my Kindle, but I have to agree with these articles; I know that I'm retaining much less from my e-books than from my physical books. 

Some previous thoughts on this subject were shared on my blog here.


debbie bailey said...

Very interesting. I personally don't think anything can compare with a real book you hold in your hand. I write notes in the margins, underline passages, and like to use real bookmarks none of which can be done electronically, I don't think. I don't think books will ever go out of fashion.

Heather said...

I have not embraced e-books, although I have some stored away on the laptop and the newer tablet. I want the book in my hand, like Debbie said above. I don't know about the research studies, but my brain knows the difference, and the good chemicals that it gives off when a book is placed in my hand, do not show up when I read books off a screen. :)