It’s common knowledge that reading is good for you. If you read for only six minutes, it cuts your stress short by 68%. Numerous studies have shown that reading keeps your brain young and active as you age. A study also found that the elderly who read regularly are basically 2.5 times less likely to develop Alzheimer’s than their counterparts who don’t. But not all forms of reading are equal. The debacle between e-books and normal/paper books has only become worse ever since Kindle came out in 2007. It’s mostly been about the sentimental value of ‘traditional’ books. The feel of paper pages versus how practical e-books could be. Science, however, has now weighed in, the studies still side with paper books.
1. Reading conventional books aid comprehension.
A 2014 study showed remarkably that readers of the same story on Kindle were significantly worse at remembering the order of events than those who read the same story in a conventional book. Lead researcher Anne Mangen of Norway’s Stavanger University concluded that “the haptic and tactile feedback of a Kindle does not provide the same support for mental reconstruction of a story as a print pocket book does.” The human brain wasn’t programmed for reading. It has adapted itself over millions of years to have created new circuits to understand letters and texts. The brain reads the text based on the placement of the page book and the word on the page. The physical book aids this procedure. E-readers are doing nothing but trying to imitate the feel of real books. Surveys about the use of e-readers suggest that this affects a reader’s serendipity and sense of control. What limits one’s experience and thus reduces long-term memory of the text.
2. An Important Skill You Need Is Reading Long Sentences Without Links
Reading long, literary sentences without any breaks is definitely an amazing skill. One must however take care to practice regularly otherwise its really easy losing this talent. The brain read in a linear fashion before the Internet.
Taking advantage of sensory details to remember where key information was in the book by layout. Our reading habits have adapted to skim text rather than really absorb the meaning ever since we’ve been into reading on screens. It was found in a 2006 study that people’s reading on screen is a ‘F pattern’ meaning they read the top line and basically skip pages. Tufts University neuroscientist Maryanne Wolf worries that “the we read during the day is affecting us when we have to read with more in-depth processing”. Individuals just cannot fathom reading a good ol’ old fashioned book anymore. As a result, some researchers and literature-lovers have started a “slow reading” movement.
4. Slow, focused, undistracted way of reading is good for your brain.
Slow-reading advocates suggest at least 30 to 45 minutes of daily reading. That will reengage your brain with linear reading. Slow reading has many benefits. It mostly helps in reducing stress and improving your ability to concentrate. Regular reading has a beauty of its own. Unmatched beauty. Especially when reading a book. It also increases empathy: in fact, one study discovered that individuals who read an upsetting short story on an iPad were less empathetic and experienced less transportation and immersion than those who read on paper. It also has a direct connect with improving sleep.
Spending the better part of our day/s in front of a screen makes it difficult for the body to get into sleep mode. By reading a paper book about an hour before bed, your brain enters a new zone, distinct from that enacted by reading on an e-reader. It’s a very interesting fact that three-quarters of Americans 18 and older report reading at least one book in the past year. E-books currently make up between 15 to 20% of all book sales.