Speed Reading For Education
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Stephen L. (Reviewer)
Reading is good for you. It staves off mental decline, it offers immense enjoyment, it expands your knowledge of the world, and it makes you more empathetic. These are just a few of the most referenced benefits of reading. However, scientists insists that reading print books differs from reading on screens. Is that true?
A unique pleasure
It’s being argued in some studies that reading print books will always win over digital media, simply because e-books cannot provide the reader with an uninterrupted immersion in the story. Reading on screens always carries a whole lot of distractions, whether they’re ads, messages from friends, e-mails from the boss, or just the fact that you have to keep clicking and pressing buttons to navigate the page.
A printed book, on the other hand, is something that you can use to disconnect. It’s a gateway to an experience that cannot be disturbed unless you allow it to be.
Studies reveal that reading on tablets and ereaders actually interferes with your understanding and retention of information.
Reading online is, for most people, surfing the web. It’s a shallow way of reading. We read quickly and superficially, we continually scroll down our feeds and walls, and we feel pressured to take in a lot of information in little time.
Researchers found that those reading on ereaders have a hard time recalling information and storylines.
The fact that digital reading is optimized for fast reading only makes matters worse. We read with less focus, we read anxiously and hastily, simply because there’s too much to read. That’s how the digital medium works, and for the most part that’s how we choose to use it.
We rarely, if ever, read a print book in this page-flipping way. Instead we immerse ourselves in the author’s world, we focus our concentration on the story, and emerge brighter, more relaxed, and wiser.
A good night’s sleep
A Harvard university study also points out that the light that back-lit ereaders and tablets emit interferes with your body’s melatonin production, which in turn affects your sleep. The researchers discovered that you will stay awake much longer, unable to get to sleep, if you are reading on an e-reader in bed, rather than reading a print book.
New reading habits
E-reading is usually hyperlinked. As a result, our reading flow is no longer linear and uninterrupted. We click on links to learn more about a term, word, or character, simply because the digital medium allows us to.
This is not entirely a bad thing, of course. Reading is enriching and interactive in hyperlink mode, but it’s also incremental. In other words, the flow is interrupted and segmented. That’s something that we don’t generally experience when reading a print book.
The expanded information available through hyperlinks might actually turn out to be counterproductive if it impedes our deeper processing. Reading exclusively digitally means we might forget how to read in a deep, targeted way; the way that allows us to process and absorb new information at our own pace, on our own terms.
Obviously, it’s no surprise that people now often find it hard to concentrate when reading a print book. After using web-enabled and message-enhanced media, we’re used to the distractions popping up regularly, and have come to expect and even anticipate them.
Until the time comes when e-readers offer a more optimized experience for bibliophiles who want the full experience provided by a print book, the discussion, as well as the reading, will continue.