Technology is great, isn’t it?
One “Hey, Alexa” and the living room lights are dim without you even moving a muscle. One click of a button and your sister from across the world can talk to you face-to-face. One swipe of your finger and you can see all your daily activity, everything from your step count and heart rate to the amount of calories burned and distance traveled. There’s no doubt that technology makes our lives easier in nearly every sphere of what we do. Maps have been replaced by GPS. Yellowpages have been replaced by Google. Cassettes have been replaced by Bluetooth music.
But there is one thing that technology will never be able to fully replace.
Sure, there are times when audio books or eBooks may be the only thing available, and they're more than fine to use. But the printed word will never fully be replaced with savvy technology. And here are 5 reasons why.
1. You retain more of what you read from physical books
Have you ever watched a movie or taken an online class? You're paying attention, right? Right, or so you think. One small thought can keep your brain busy with the wrong thing without you even knowing it. The same can happen when you're "reading" or listening to an eBook. That's not the case with physical reading, though. When reading a paper book, the turning of the pages, scientists have proven, creates an "index" in the brain, mapping information in a book to a particular page. Mapping the information helps our brains retain more of what we just read.
2. You can loan books easier
Sometimes it just takes one book to change our viewpoint, our opinion, our habits, or even our lives. Want to share that book with those you love or think could benefit from it? Well, it's not always so easy with online books. Having a paper copy: just hand it over to your friend and voila!
3. Eye strain
Not only are physical books there for you when the power goes out, but they are also there when it comes to your eyes. Online reading and eBooks put strain on your eyes. Even with low light and no glare settings, our eyes still get tired and weary. Paper books allow your eyes to read freely and in all environments, from sunny to rainy.
4. The feel
For some people, the first thing they do when they get a new book is smell it. For others, they feel the pages. The texture, weight, the feel of the ink, the binding, the images. Others just jump to see the page count. :)
You can't do this with an eBook or online reading. Paper books give you more of a connection and a sense of "realness" to what you are reading, which allows you to feel the characters and get to know them on a personal level and connect with them. It also allows you to feel and see your progress. Physical books give you more interaction, more connection, more satisfaction.
Like Naomic Baron once asked, “I wonder if anyone has ever cried reading an ebook?” Good question, huh?
5. No batteries
No wi-fi. No charger. No outlet. No signal. No internet. Period.
What's the last physical paper book that you've read? Did you bond with the characters, walk in their shoes, feel their emotions? Did you feel the paper beneath your fingers as you flipped it, see the pages pile up as you read them? Or are you still stuck in your eBook, telling yourself you're "reading" while your mind wanders in la la land or worries about your job?
Do yourself a favor: put that technology down and grab the real thing. Let yourself enjoy all the benefits of physical books. What's not on the list that you notice in your reading?