We all know that, right? There’s a lot of research to support the idea – it lifts your mood, reduces stress, it may prevent Alzheimer’s, it improves your concentration – so I was really interested in this article from Arts.mic: Science has great news for people who read books. Apparently, reading a print book is better for your brain than an eBook.
Reading long, literary sentences sans links and distractions is actually a serious skill that you lose if you don’t use it. Before the Internet, the brain read in a linear fashion, taking advantage of sensory details to remember where key information was in the book by layout.
As we increasingly read on screens, our reading habits have adapted to skim text rather than really absorb the meaning.
Not only that, the physical presence of the book helps our memory of the story:
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.
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.”
I love my books and I love my Kindle, and I love having the option to choose between the two. So read! Find time to read every day and if someone asks what you’re doing, tell them that you’re exercising your brain!