Reading in print or on a screen?

Benefits of reading

The benefits of reading, in general, are well documented and include:

  • Increased brain activity
  • Reduces stress
  • Motivational
  • Increases literacy and general knowledge
  • Increases the ability to focus

But there is a difference as to how you consume your chosen reading material and it seems printed books come out rather better than reading on screen. Studies have shown:

Scientists believe that the actual sensation of holding a book enabled readers of printed material to score higher in a study looking at the absorption of the material, empathy and understanding of the book when compared to those who were reading on an electronic device.

Blue light caused by some screens actually tricks your brain into believing it’s still daylight, so if you’re reading in bed, you are more likely to get better sleep if you read a printed book.

If you read on screen, with the internet at your fingers, you are more likely to get distracted and look at other things. With a book, your concentration will be higher.

Have you ever just smelt a book? There’s something about it that heightens the senses. Apparently, the paper in older books includes a component called lignin which has a smell similar to vanilla.

If, like me, you spend most of your working day in front of a screen, it’s a welcome distraction to look at a printed book, a break from the work day.

A study of reading in children between three and five has shown that the kids take more of a book in if their parents read a paper book, compared to reading a book off of a screen.

And with paper coming from renewable sources, it’s not as bad for the planet as it used to be.

So, the conclusion is, support your local bookshop by buying printed. Help support talented independent South African authors by buying local too.

Support South African authors by buying their books. Click here to go to DotDot where a selection of our titles are available.

To find out more, contact us here.