Despite the move toward digitization, do you still prefer paper? You have company, according to Ferris Jabr in the November issue of Scientific American. Jabr discusses studies that indicate people have greater focus on content and remember more of what they read when it is printed on paper. Reading a print book allows the reader to create a mental map of the text – similar to hiking a trail. It is like when you remember that there is a great quote on the top of the right-hand page, toward the end of the book.
Jabr also writes that modesty may be paper’s greatest strength by allowing the text to be the focus. Studies that show digital screens distract readers from content by requiring scrolling and exerting effort just to keep one’s place in the text.
Will this change over time? Will screen innovations that we cannot even imagine change everything? Read the article for yourself.
– Glenda Davis-Driggs, Iowa City Campus Librarian