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Choosing books to take on holiday has got more difficult in recent years. Now it is a question not just of what to read but how — on paper, tablet, e-reader, or perhaps even a phone — and people have strong opinions on which is best. But is there any more to the decision than cost and convenience?
On this question, the answer suggested by numerous studies into the neuroscience and psychology of reading in different formats is an emphatic yes. Looking ahead 20 years, he posed a question: If your answer to this is no, then the death of the novel is sealed out of your own mouth. The Pew Research Center reports that, as recently ashardly anyone in the US had an e-reader or tablet.
The proportion of the population who have read an ebook in the past year rose from 17 per cent in to 28 per cent just three years later. In the UK, figures from Nielsen, which monitors book sales, showed that one in four consumer titles bought in was an ebook, up from one in five a year earlier.
Is this cause for concern? There is some evidence that reading on screen can result in less comprehension and even affect sleep patterns.
But the research here is complex and inconclusive and, in any case, it is actually doing something far more interesting than telling us which medium is superior.
As researchers examine the differences reading in different media make, they are also having to distinguish carefully between the different things that we do when we read.
When Anne Campbell of the Open University in Scotland looked at how students used Kindle readers and paper books, she found that the electronic devices promoted more deep reading and less active learning.
This appeared to be a direct result of design. This example alone shows how debates over whether print beats screen are hopelessly simplistic, not least because reading on a computer, with endless distractions a click away, is very different from reading on a dedicated e-reader.
Hence the prevalence of hyperlinks and multiple windows on computers could be seen as creating either unwelcome distraction or more opportunities for active learning. This is a nice example of how hard it is to know whether the preferences we have for one type of reading device over another are rooted in the essentials of cognition or are simply cultural.
As another researcher, Simone Benedettopoints out: This might actually be more efficient. A whole other area of research concerns motivation.
One of the recurrent concerns of the internet age is that children are reading less. But there is some evidence that, used wisely, ereaders could encourage more reading. Campbell, for instance, points to a large National Literacy Trust survey last year, which found that children read more when using ereaders than paper books.
This reflects an aspect of reading we are all aware of but are often reluctant to admit. The book in your hand or on your coffee table is a public statement about who you are.
Ereaders are, therefore, useful in getting over concerns with image and providing a kind of licence for us to follow our curiosity and interests more. If used smartly, ereaders could provide a huge help to many, as evidenced by the title of one recent study by a Harvard team led by Matthew Schneps: The National Literary Trust survey found 52 per cent of 8- to year-olds preferred reading on screen, with just 32 per cent preferring print.
Yet research has already told us a lot about how we read now. First and foremost, it emphasises that even using paper, there are many different approaches.Explore staff picks and find out how to download e-books and other media.
Explore Books & Media. The Guardian Books podcast is our weekly look at the world of books, poetry and great writing presented by Claire Armitstead, Richard Lea, & Sian Cain.
With in-depth interviews with leading . The True Art is a 'classic' of musical literature in the true sense of the word. The many ramifications of Bach's comprehensive essay have been neatly explained and annotated in a manner that makes the Essay a valuable reference work and an interesting venture in musical literature and history.
In the autumn of , the philosopher Martin Heidegger began to record his thoughts in small diaries that he called the schwarze Hefte, or “black notebooks.” Their name describes their black oilcloth covering, but one could be forgiven for thinking it described their content.
They will cast a dark shadow over Heidegger’s legacy. Some paper books also have more value than e-books, especially historical books. Despised all the differences, there are similarities between paper books and e-books. One similarity is that both paper books and e-books purpose is to give knowledge and entertain readers.
A book is both a usually portable physical object and the body of immaterial representations or intellectual object whose material signs—written or drawn lines or other two-dimensional media—the physical object contains or houses..
As a physical object, a book is a stack of usually rectangular pages (made of papyrus, parchment, vellum, or paper) oriented with one longer side (either left.