Paper vs Screen Reading


…the difference between reading from Kindle and from paper.

By Claire Jacobs

Reading is good for everyone. There is an immense amount of fun uncovered by reading. Even a study has shown that reading keeps your brain more active and effective at any age. Reading is important because it develops the mind. it develops imagination, reputation, confidence and creativity. It is also the major way we get to find out new stuffs.

Now, when we watch a video like the one below, we wonder How exactly the technology we use to read change the way we read, and what is the overall effect on the learning process.

There has been a massive debate over the topic of which is better, whether pixel or paper. People who have become accustomed to the traditional feel of paper always have a standing sentimentally for the paper. Even before 1992 many researches were carried out to see the difference between these technologies. The outcome then until now, is still against screen reading. Neuroscience, in fact, has shown us that people utilize different areas of the brain during the reading process and it varies if we are reading from a piece of paper or from a screen. They found that the more you read on screens, the more your mind shifts towards “non-linear” reading — this is a not so good practice that involves things like skimming a screen.

A 2004 study found that students more fully remembered what they’d read on paper. Those results were echoed by an experiment by psychologist Erik Wästlund at Sweden’s Karlstad University, who found that students learned better when reading from paper.

Paper technology, by the way, had been predicted by technology forecasters to be dead by now. Information theorists, marketers, and early adopters of alternatives have told us their demise was imminent given the rate of growth of various other competing technologies.

Paperback Vs Kindle

Study has found that Kindle readers compared to people who use paperback readers recalled events that happened in the mystery story on which they were being tested. This research was aimed to prove the effect of digitization of information on people’s reading experience.Paperback Vs Kindle

Our brains were not designed for reading, but have adapted and created new circuits to understand letters and texts. The brain reads by constructing a mental representation of the text based on the placement of the page in the book and the word on the page.

The tactile experience of a book aids this process, from the thickness of the pages in your hands as you progress through the story to the placement of a word on the page. The difference for Kindle readers “might have something to do with the fact that the fixity of a text on paper, and this very gradual unfolding of paper as you progress through a story is some kind of sensory offload, supporting the visual sense of progress when you’re reading.”

While e-readers try to recreate the sensation of turning pages and pagination, the screen is limited to one ephemeral virtual page. Surveys about the use of e-readers suggest that this affects a reader’s serendipity and sense of control. The inability to flip back to previous pages or control the text physically, either through making written notes or bending pages, limits one’s sensory experience and thus reduces long-term memory of the text.

Now also know that Digital reading has some real advantages.  People when asked this will go on and on about its convenience: “easy to carry” and “compact.” We also know electronic texts are vital for democratizing learning opportunities. e-books tend to be cheaper than print versions also.

And they will not fail to end with the environmental argument. Think of the trees!



It is of great importance that students have to develop their reading, comprehension and learning skills in both arenas and technologies for better survival. They need to build their competence in the traditional as well as in the digital literacy and navigation skills. Though many parents naturally fear that the attention given to the digital skill will cause a neglect of the skills like handwriting in schools but this is hardly the case, as schools focus on all units, especially the major ones like the Reading Skills and Technology Tools unit.


In Finland and Australia, plans are being made towards the eradication of handwritten exams, replacing them with online tests. Even the teaching of cursive writing has been stop in Finland.  At this point in time, as most of our tests and examinations are still handwritten, students are advised that when it comes to exam time, they should handwrite their study notes or if typed then print them out when they are learning them. They should also actively create opportunities to maintain their handwriting skills, consciously choosing to handwrite at times when they might normally type.


Don’t be left out. Learn to touch type as the technology is of immense use now. While we have had the ability to dictate into a device for some time, this is still not in common usage. Learning to touch type is a skill that definitely pays off in the senior years in terms of saving huge amounts of time.

In all, saying that screen is the future of reading may not be all that accurate, as the possibility is still being questioned and challenged. As for the trees, those being planted to reduce global warming can still serve well for many more years.






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