Fascinating Study on Reading e-Books vs. Paper Books

books_peI came across a fascinating report on how reading “real” books is better for our brains than reading e-books.  As someone who has both books and an e-reader, I found it very true in my own life that reading a paper book seems more contextually easy to remember, than when reading with my e-reader.  I’ve changed the way I use an e-reader over time, for more short stories and news, while still enjoying my long form paper books for thoughtful reflection and focus.

But perhaps it’s only me!

From the article “Science Has Great News for People Who Read Actual Books” here’s a quote:

“A 2014 study found that readers of a short mystery story on a Kindle were significantly worse at remembering the order of events than those who read the same story in paperback. 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.”

Our brains were not designed for reading, but have adapted and created new circuits to understand letters and texts. The brain reads by constructing a mental representation of the text based on the placement of the page in the book and the word on the page.

The tactile experience of a book aids this process, from the thickness of the pages in your hands as you progress through the story to the placement of a word on the page. Mangen hypothesizes that the difference for Kindle readers “might have something to do with the fact that the fixity of a text on paper, and this very gradual unfolding of paper as you progress through a story is some kind of sensory offload, supporting the visual sense of progress when you’re reading.”

So don’t throw out your paper books yet!  They are good for your brain!

To read the entire article please go to this link:


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