Would You Miss Turning Pages

Have you considered what we would lose if we lost paper books? Would you miss the smell of books, or flipping a page, or even getting excited seeing a book someone else is reading that you’ve read before? I would.

Although digital devices are more convenient, in schools and libraries, it seems paper books are not losing their importance…yet. With older students, they grew up with paper books, but with younger students, they are now living in a digital world.

When it comes to high schools and colleges, most students prefer to buy paper versions of textbooks. Although it’s cheaper to buy e-textbooks, devices become distracting. Student Victoria Adesoba, from the New York University, says, “E-textbooks are good, but it’s tempting to go on Facebook, and it can strain your eyes”.

According to a survey done by the Student Public Interest Groups, three quarters of students still preferred a bound book to a digital version.

While the argument between using e-textbooks or paper books is ongoing, school districts don’t consider effects computers have on a student’s overall grade from computerized tests. Reading tests should be taken on paper, not computers. In a 2003 study conducted at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, 80 percent of 687 students preferred to read text on paper as opposed to screens in order to “understand it with more clarity”.

Testing that requires using a device makes students perform worse than on paper. Students who read on a monitor rely more on remembering then on knowing, while students who read on paper depend equally on remembering and knowing.

For students reading on digital devices, damage is being done to their eyes. While e-ink is easy on the eyes, reflecting ambient light like paper books, screens shine light directly into people’s faces. This causes eyestrain, headaches, and blurred vision.

After a study conducted of 72 Swedish volunteers who completed the Swedish language reading test, the people who took the test on a computer not only scored lower, but reported higher levels of stress or tiredness then on paper.

Although it is proven that digital devices are Eco-friendly, not using paper, publishers have increased recycling rates from five percent to 24 percent in six years. Reducing paper isn’t a problem anymore.

While it might seem digital devices are rising in favoritism next to paper books, devices strain the eyes and distract the reader. Siding with digital devices means losing paper books, the original reading devices in schools everywhere.

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5 thoughts on “Would You Miss Turning Pages

  1. I am still for iPads/ e readers all the way. Why waist money and countless pages that will become useless after you are done with it. Eyestrain is only an issue if you read in the dark with brightness all the way up. I would love to see the evidence to prove headaches, eyestrain, etc. with electronic devices in reading.

    1. The evidence is, most people reading from digital devices are claiming the eyestrain,headaches,etc, after reading off a bright screen for a while.To be honest, I’m an avid reader and my kindle makes me tired and much more distracted then reading from regular paper books. Its not only reading for fun, but the study’s I cited show that reading tests done on computers make students perform worse. Would you rather we all get low grades because we had to complete these tests on a screen?

  2. I thought that this was really well written. I wrote the same editorial on this topic but now I’m on the side of the books.

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