Reading Print Can Make You Healthier

Do we really need to remind you how wonderful books are? Not only are they fun and engaging but they also make you smarter- yes, it’s a scientifically proven fact. Following long twisting plots with complicated characters and settings forces your mind to expand. You begin to see things from different perspectives, which leads to a kind of wisdom you can only get from spending hours with great books.

If you want to get the most out of your book however, you may need to throw away that Kindle and get back to print. An article from Entrepreneur compiled some recent studies that show how much of a difference there is between reading print and electronic books.

One such study shows that reading print, rather than reading from a screen, leads to better comprehension. The data shows reading from a digital source places a larger “cognitive load” on the mind. It may be why you get tired quicker when reading from a screen rather than from paper. Mental strain from e-reading is part of a larger phenomenon called “digital fatigue.”

Another major factor is how electronic “blue light” can have a detrimental effect on your sleep cycle. One Harvard study explains how “the body’s natural circadian rhythms were interrupted by the short-wavelength enriched light, otherwise known as blue light, from electronic devices.” Most likely you are an incredibly busy person, so getting a good night sleep is extremely important. Use a soft light to illuminate your book, and let the story carry you off into a deep slumber.

Most importantly however, reading from print gives us a better sense of progress. There is something about getting through a long story page by page that brings us a sense of pride. When you are done reading, you will always have that book with you to remind you of the journey it took you on. This is something that is lost when you read a book entirely from a electronic device.

E-books aren’t so bad, but they should only play a narrow role. While you commute, travel, or in between classes, an e-book can be a god-send. But for the real in-depth plunge into epic literature, there is no substitute for the crisp pages of a good book. 


Featured image courtesy of Odyssey