Science believes that it’s healthier to read printed books over e-books

Author Penn Collins.
Author Penn Collins.

I came across an exceptional article written by Penn Collins from Website Good recently and thought it was worth sharing. Now, being a baby boomer, I fully realize the love many younger folks have for e-books and other handheld devices. That being said, I’ve always preferred reading printed publications. Part of this has to do with my age (68), part with my background in newspapers, but most of all, I can throw them out if I don’t like them – especially newspapers whose editorial slant I don’t agree with! Here’s a preview of his timely piece, with a link to the full article and his other features at the end.

There are several reasons why the health and wellness benefits of reading printed material outweighs the convenience and affordability of their digital counterparts. First, the e-device you’re using is irrelevant. If you’re using an iPad or a Kindle with e-ink, you’re exposing yourself to the same blue light that’s messing with some of the chemicals in your brain, circadian cycles and more – which all lead to feeling tired when you wake up (even though the act of reading itself is a great remedy for occasional insomnia or restlessness). Just make sure it’s a printed book you’re diving into, otherwise you could be making matters worse.

Next, a 2013 study found that children aged 3-5 had lower comprehension levels when they were read to from an e-reader rather than a physical book. Also, the more interactive elements of e-books can do more harm than good. A report in Scientific American included a 2005 San Jose University study that found that people reading books and articles on screens are far more likely to take shortcuts or cheat their way through the piece. Another study found that news stories from an e-reader weren’t recalled as well as those that were read in a printed publication.

Here’s the link to the complete article. It’s well worth reading:

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Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.