Is one reading format better than the other?

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Reading is not just words on paper or a screen. It is a place where one can get lost in thought and forget about their worries.

On February 24, 2023, the Declaration released an online survey until March 3, to have a better understanding of people´s reading habits.  The Declaration wanted to see which type of reading format is most used.

It was open to all ages and the Declaration received 129 responses.

Benefits of paperback:

One of the biggest reasons why people tend to prefer paperbacks over eBooks is because of the strain on the eyes. And let´ s be honest, no one wants to develop a headache after trying to enjoy a book. With traditional books, you do not need to make sure your device is charged or hope that you did not download a virus. All you need to do is to get in a comfortable position with good lightning, and dive into a new world.

Have you ever heard that reading before bed will help you sleep faster? Well, that is true to some except. Back in 2014, Harvard scientists have found that using digital tools before bed actually messes up your sleep schedule. You will feel rather less tired then you would if you read a paperback. According to the study, digital readers had a hard time waking up the next morning. So if you wanna fall asleep faster and have an easy time waking up, then stick to paperbacks.

According to Mental Floss, e-readers are more likely to spend most of their time scanning the words then actually understanding what they just read. The article also mentions a survey that was tested on students that attend university. 67% of students declare that they were able to multitask while reading digitally, while only 41% can multitask by reading a print book. But should you multitask when reading? Multitasking can be harmful to readers in many ways. It can make you vaguely remember what you just read, cause you to spend more time on one section, and worsen your comprehension of the text.

Benefits of audio books:

Though audio books have not always been famous, you can see the gravitation growing in the next few years. Even though how amazing physical books and electronic devices are, they do not allow you to enjoy a book along with doing something else. You need to physically hold the item and turn its pages in order to get further into the story. While with audio books, you need to just push play and are able to get other things done.

With this generation, our whole life is resolved around technology. From elementary to college students, they depend on electronic devices to help get their work done. This could lead to hours of focusing on screen without taking a break. Audio books allow your eyes to rest, while your ears do all the work.  As doing so, you could find that listening to books allows you to fall asleep faster.

Did you know that listening to words is a powerful tool with people who are dyslexic? Learning Ally has shared that audio books can help reduce trying to decipher and make sense of words. When you are able to receive both visually and audibly, it strengthens word recognition, fluency, grows vocabulary, and helps comprehension skills.

Benefits of e-books:

Just like the rest, e-books are special in their own way. One well known form of this device is a Kindle. The Kindle has been released in different versions for years now. With the Kindle you have many ways to get books. You can borrow them from Libby that is an app that is associated with a library near you, or you can simply buy books from Amazon. The prices on Amazon are good, going even as low to $3. Any reader knows that is a good price compared to a paperback´s.

One of the people´s favorite is the Kindle Paperwhite. The Kindle Paperwhite has the same features as any other Kindle, but it uses e-ink. E-ink is a paper display technology that mimics ink on a page. This feature benefits the human eye due to it causing less strain and not reducing our blink rate.

Some of the attractive features is being able to change the font size to how you like, reducing or increasing the brightness of the screen, being able to learn the meaning of word by just tapping on it, and of course, the unlimited battery. The Kindle does not waste battery as easily as a phone or laptop does, it can last up to 10 weeks.

Which do people like more?

From the data collected in the survey, the Declaration discovered that 69.8% rather read a paperback; 17.1% rather an eBook/on a Kindle; 4.7% would listen to an audio book; 8.5% do not read. When asked if any of them would consider getting a Kindle (if not already owned), 40% said no. They rather stick to either a paperback or audio book. This was not too surprising because like stated before, this generation revolves around technology. So, it makes sense that they would want to take a break and rest their strained eyes.

With so, the Declaration gathered that only 4.7% (from the survey) tend to annotate. Annotating has been a huge part of the reading world for many years. In a school environment, annotating can help students to get a deeper understanding of the text. It helps them to stop, think over what they just read, and highlight/circle what was important.

Readers even go an extra mile with annotating then they did before. Now, they use different types of tabs for different moments in books. For example: pink=romantic/sweet moments; yellow=favorite quotes; blue= sad or shocking moments. Though you can highlight and comment on your favorite moment on a kindle or an eBook device, it will never compare to the good old paper texture.