Oct 12 2017 8:05am

Reading Physical Books Is Good For Your Health!

Girl thumbing through the pages of a book

We are still undecided on whether we truly prefer print books or e-books, but a recent article on a study about reading may have us changing our tune. A 2014 study, which recently resurfaced for a Mic article, showed that reading physical books may improve your overall health, and specifically your memory. Reading takes a certain skillset for our brains and studies have shown that reading is good for us, no matter what—it lowers our stress levels, among many other benefits. This study added in another element. It tested people's recall on the same mystery short story. The memory of the group that read the story as a physical book was able to recall more than those who read on e-readers. 

What do you think made the difference between the e-reader and the physical book? Do you think it actually improves our overall memory too? Will you start to read more physical books now? Do you think we'll be able to get a prescription for our doctor that reading is good (and necessary) for our health?

Tell me your thoughts on this study in the comments! 



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Lucy D
1. Lucy D
I don't agree with this. I know sometimes when I am listening to an audiobook I sometimes miss little details but when I have an ereader, I can get more comfortable than when reading a physical book and I have to make sure I have good lighting. I also do highlighting with my ereader which I would never do with a physical book.

Maybe the difference is those with ereaders tend to be big readers. Goodread shows my reading each year to be over 100 books while my sister-in-law just told me she only gets through 2 or 3 a year.

Unless I re-read a book, there are little things that I forget since I have already moved on to something new.
Lucy D
2. MelM
While I agree with one part of the study it won't get me to go back to paper books. My recall is different with a paper book because I have a very visual sort of memory and ebook "pages" don't have distinguishing characteristics such as page numbers or physical positions that allow me to visualize them clearly.

On the other hand I tried reading a paper book for the first time in years this weekend and the experience was so miserable that I won't try it again for a long time. I'll stick with ebooks even if I have to work a bit harder at remembering.
3. Kareni
Sadly, my memory is like a sieve which I think is one reason I so often re-read books. How interesting to hear the results that "The memory of the group that read the story as a physical book was able to recall more than those who read on e-readers." It makes me wonder what the results would be for me.
Heather Waters
4. HeatherWaters
I'd say this is true for me. I can sometimes picture where on a page I read something in a physical book, which can be helpful. Also, physical books reduce my urge to flick to another app to check the news...I've become very anxious about that in the last few months and check news constantly.
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