The long-standing debate that pits digital e-books against physical print books continues to wage on with readers and publishers alike attempting to find the answer to this age-old dispute.
And while it’s no question that some are inherently drawn to e-technology and others to print, the cognitive benefits of the latter help give it an edge over its competition. An article by Julee Tanner, published in the School of Information Student Research Journal, delves further into this topic by investigating the relationship between readers and their preferred medium through the lens of optics, cognition, and metacognition.
“[P]rint books are still the best suited to the optical, cognitive, and metacognitive requirements of the reading brain,” Tanner’s article concludes.
The difference between print and e-books, as the article points out, can be the difference between understanding information and remembering information, respectively. Nothing digital is more or less without distraction. In the age of pop-up ads and dry-eye, digital e-books have developed somewhat of a poor reputation among readers, with many feeling an ironic disconnect between themselves and the text. While this isn’t to say e-technology is a fruitless medium, it’s still worth acknowledging the benefits brought out by physical books. With little to no eye strain and improved comprehension due to their physicality, the benefits prove that print media continues to thrive.