Paper vs Digital Reading – How to Figure out What’s Best for You: Part 2

The Paper Book Just Won’t Give Up

Digital books are unlikely ever to completely take over and make paper books extinct. Paper books have a very long history, and are most likely to still be with us many years into the future. Why might you still want to make the choice to read a paper book?

We have become accustomed to reading from computer screens – digital readers are an extension of this. They give the reader a more compact and convenient way to read a book. However, they also give us the opportunity to get distracted very easily. The Kindle Fire and the iPad both gives us the ability to search the internet, check our email or post on Facebook. This makes it very easy to get distracted from the thing which we were aiming to do in the first place – actually just read a book. How can you keep concentrating on that new bestseller you have just downloaded, if you are constantly thinking about what your latest news feed is saying?

One way to get over the distraction problem is to buy a dedicated digital reader which does not allow you access to the internet. There are plenty of options for this, the most popular of which is the Amazon Kindle.

Even if we get over the information overwhelm problem we will still keep coming back to paper books. Why? Sometimes it just feels so much better to read a paper book!

One very different thing with reading on a digital eBook is that you have much less of a sense of place than you do with a paper book. What we mean is that with a book you have much more of a sense of where you are in the story. A digital reader may have markings at the bottom of the page, but somehow it just doesn’t seem the same.

Studies have shown that it is more difficult to take in and retain information from a digital reader than it is from reading a traditional paper book. You may not get the depth of understanding and enjoyment from reading from a screen as you do from a paper book.

Lack of sleep is a serious issue and many researchers believe that reading from a digital source can inhibit sleep and cause sleep patterns to be disrupted. Sleep disorders are thought to be responsible for many other serious health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. The light emitted from a digital reader is known to disrupt the production of melatonin – a hormone which is important in establishing sleep patterns. Some studies have shown that people who read a digital reader have sleep patterns which include less time in deep sleep, so that they wake up less well rested. It’s something to think about as to whether your late night screen reading is making you more tired.

Studies have shown that reading a paper book can actually make you more relaxed and fall into a deeper sleep more quickly – the exact opposite of reading a digital book.

Your choice of reading media may also have a serious effect on your stress level. Studies have shown that reading a traditional paper book can reduce heart rate and help people to relax. EBook readers may have the opposite effect. The ability to switch from one thing to another on a digital book can heighten levels of stress.

Only you can decide whether a digital or a paper book is the best choice. A digital book is a very convenient thing, but there really is nothing like holding a real paper book in your hands and settling down to read. You just don’t get that warm feeling that you get with your favorite paper novel. The best solution? Maybe just not to make a choice. An eBook reader can be really inexpensive these days. There is no need to take a risk – just go ahead and buy one and try it out. We bet you never completely turn your back on the traditional paper book. Somehow that just wouldn’t feel right.

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