The Digital Age has brought Kindle, Audible, and other e-book companies that are phasing out regular print materials from popularity.
A study conducted Naomi Baron from The New Republic showed that 92% of the college students she queried concentrated best using print media. Some responses showed that students felt they focus better and comprehend the material more effectively when reading from print sources.
Think about it. If you’re trying to read an e-book or listen to audio book on your cell phone or tablet, many distractions could take you away from fully focusing on the written material on the screen.
Pros of Reading Print
Reading print media positively increases:
- Critical thinking skills.
- Reading retention.
- Concentration levels when studying for a test.
- Memory retention of a story line or real world information being presented.
Things that you can do while reading a book that you cannot do while reading digital media include:
- Physically using a highlighter to capture key sentences in the text.
- Put sticky notes of things to remember in certain chapters on to the actual pages.
- Physically flip pages back and forth to reference prior chapters for review.
Cons of Reading Print Media
The cons of reading print media include:
- Your eye health if you do not read in well lit areas at night.
- Certain features of the e-book version may not be available in the print version.
- Print media can be damaged in a flood, which makes readers lose all their notes inside the book if not backed up digitally.
Online reading is convenient because you can access a variety of digital reading materials all on one or two devices in your home. Need to find a recent news article to keep up with the 2020 political campaign? Google it. Want to get all your favorite books downloaded on your phone, tablet, or Kindle? Use the Kindle app or other e-book apps.
While you can “digitally” highlight in an e-book or make digital sticky notes throughout the book file, it does not feel as engaging as physically doing the highlighting or sticky note placement as you would do for a print book.
Pros of Online Reading
Online reading is beneficial and useful because:
- All of your reading material can be kept on one or two devices rather than having a library full of physical books.
- If you lose a device, you can redownload all of your readable content to a new device via your e-book account.
- It is faster and more convenient to look up reading materials on any subject.
- There’s a wider variety of information on all subjects online readily accessible for immediate cross analysis. It could take a while to cross analyze print media.
Cons of Online Reading
Unfortunately, online reading can:
- Also cause eye damage-like print media-except if someone is looking at a screen for too long.
- Turn into an information overload with the high amount of access to different online resources.
- Cause more distractions that get in the way of proper reading comprehension.
So What’s the End Result?
Print media is more traditional and engaging than digital reading because less distractions happen while reading a book in a quiet environment. Readers can engage with the content better by reading physical pages rather than reading the same content on a digital screen.