In the 2000s we saw the arrival of the tablet and along with that e-readers were released, such as the iPad and Kindles. The developers of these devices hoped and claimed it would revolutionize how consumers enjoy their favorite novels and books, and for many people, it has and will continue to do so, but latest figures show that the e-books’ bubble might have burst. These recent figures showed a decline in e-book sales, while traditional book sales remained steady with a slight increase.
Studies say printed books, with real pages that you turn, make parents and children interact more than when using electronic books. Researchers studied how 37 pairs of parents and children interacted with e-books and paper books. Parents asked fewer questions and made fewer comments with e-books. Researchers gave parents three book formats. These were printed books, e-books, and e-books with animation and sound effects. The researchers found that parents and children spoke to each other less with the digital books. A researcher said parents and children talked about the device and the technology more than about the story.
Although young people may read more quickly on an eReader, the speed and potential distractions of links, scrolling, and advertisements usually mean people remember and retain what they are reading better in physical books. Many readers also enjoy the touch and feel of holding and turning the pages of a book.
Furthermore printed books are yours for life. In twenty years’ time you will be able to pick up a book you purchased today and read it, but will the gadgets in twenty years still be compatible with the format of your e-book today? – Unlikely!
You retain more of what you read from a paper book
Many studies confirm that reading comprehension is better with physical books than with eBooks. A research from “The Shallows” by Nicholas Carr has shown that readers retain more information when they read a physical book. According to scientists, the act of turning pages while reading creates an ‘index’ in the brain, mapping information in a book to a particular page. By mapping the information this way, our brains are able to retain more of what we read. Reading a book on a Kindle certainly feels educational, but one may feel like getting more out of a book when reading a physical copy.
Enjoying Books as a Community
Traditional printed books are great for sharing. When we finish a story, if we have enjoyed it we want to tell our friends “You’ve got to read this”. With a print book, you can share it with them by simply handing them the book to read. However, to share an e-book you must navigate a digital minefield of protections and agreements, and once you have done that it comes across with all the warmth of sending an email.