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The Scientific Benefits of Reading Printed Books

Not that there was ever a reason to doubt them, but your elementary teachers were correct when they said that reading (printed) books is good for you. Now, there is also concrete, scientific data to back up that claim.

Benefits of Reading Printed Books - Kids reading Books

So before you start boxing up your paperback collection in favour of your electronic reading device, you might want to learn more about the benefits of reading hard-copy books.

Printed Books Help You Absorb More Information

You might think that the rate at which information is absorbed is uniform across mediums—but you’d be wrong. In a study published in 2014, European researchers compared a group of readers and their ability to retain and place key aspects of a short story in chronological order (including characters, settings, etc.).

Benefits of Reading Printed Books in hands

Half of the group was asked to read the 28-page short story on a Kindle, while the others read the paperback version of the same story.. he lead researcher of the study found that people who used electronic devices had a difficult time immersing themselves in the content they were reading, resulting in a poorer performance when it came to placing events within the story.

The group of people tasked with reading a paper-based copy of the story, on the other hand, fared much better. As researchers discovered, the simple act of turning a page and then feeling the remaining number of pages in the book dwindle allowed print readers to successfully recognise the order of events in the story.

Printed Books Are Easier On Your Eyes

Eye strain is a common affliction for those who use a computer or an electronic reader over an extended period of time. Forcing your eyes to focus on pixel-based digital letters makes them work harder than they do when scanning conventional print-based type.

child reading book from lap

More glare from the screen and increased blinking can also facilitate eye strain conditions. As technology continues to improve, it is believed that eye strain associated with electronic readers will diminish, but this may provide little solace to today’s avid readers. To reduce the impact of eye strain, consider observing what is known as the 20-20-20 rule.

This guideline suggests that readers take a break from reading every twenty minutes and focus on something twenty feet away for a duration of twenty seconds. Doing so can reduce the symptoms of eye strain and potentially prevent it from happening in the first place.

Reading Printed Books Can Help You Get A Better Night’s Rest

Everyone knows that reading before bed can help you relax and forget about the stresses of the day, but reading a printed book, rather than using an electronic reader, can also increase the length and quality of your beauty sleep.

Benefits of Reading Printed Books - reading book from my lap

A recent study conducted by Harvard University concluded that using e-readers (such as the Kindle) before bedtime can drastically reduce the levels of melatonin in the body. In the study, it was observed that this drop in melatonin (which is a vital sleep hormone). was also directly correlated to the length of time it took people to fall asleep.

Unsurprisingly, the amount of sleep reported by the participants using e-readers was less than those who did use e-readers. It is believed that the short-wavelength enriched light (commonly known as blue light) emitted from electronic readers interrupts our natural circadian rhythms and is correlated with this drop in melatonin levels.

Printed Books Are Beneficial For Your Child’s Development

For some parents, purchasing an e-book right before bed is significantly easier than physically going to buy a book from the store.. Kids also love electronic devices, and owning one means that you literally have millions of titles to choose from at any time, day or night.

A new study, however, has found that despite the convenience factor of electronic books, it’s much better for your child’s development if you follow the tried-and-true method of reading physical books at bedtime. It’s important to note that purchasing physical copies of your child’s favourite books doesn’t require numerous weekly trips to your local bookstore, however. Virtually all of the titles available on your Kindle can be yours via an effortless and convenient online book purchase.

So why are physical books better for your child? Researchers at the University of Minnesota’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital observed that when parents read a bedtime story on an e-reader, there is significantly less interaction between the parent and child, and the child would often become distracted by the mere presence of the electronic device.

Printed Books Have A Positive Impact On Reading Retention

People use digital content differently than they do physical content. A person viewing a digital article like this one, for example, might only skim over the content in search of a particularly interesting nugget of information.

When children learn to read from paper-based books, however, they are encouraged to read every line rather than just skimming the content. The result? People who read traditional print media often experience better retention of information than their counterparts who read digital-based content

Where to Order Books Online

Despite the rising popularity of e-readers, physical books are still incredibly abundant and easy to purchase. Browsing for books can be done at your local library, a neighbourhood bookstore, rummage sales or flea markets.

Since the availability of these establishments may vary from one area to the next—and time may prohibit you from shopping for books in-person—the easiest way to find the title you’re looking for is to order books online.

This is a collaborative post.