Paper Over Pixels

Paper Over Pixels

Think about a bookstore.  A bright mosaic of colors formed by the shelves of books. The distinct woody smell of paper.  The soft feel of the pages a book as you flip through it.  There’s no denying the deep connection between paper and humans.  It’s been around for centuries and has affected every aspect of our civilization.  Even with our integration into the digital age, it’s no wonder people are still using the stuff.

It’s About Preference

A survey was conducted with college students from Germany, Japan, and the U.S.  It found the an overwhelming 92 percent of them preferred paper books to their digital versions.  The study was done by Naomi S. Baron, linguistics professor at American University, for her book “Words Onscreen: The Fate of Reading in a Digital World.”   In the book, Baron investigates the scientific reason for this preference.

Paper: It’s Good For Your Health

eyestrainBeside personal preference, reading from screens can be bad for your health and well being.
Prolonged use of digital screens can cause eyestrain, headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes, as well as neck and shoulder pain.  A study from Harvard Medical School also discovered that light- emitting screens before bed interfere with your sleep patterns.

Print vs Digital

It has also been found that readers absorb more information when reading from a paper medium.  A study was conducted by Anne Mangen of Norway’s Stavanger University, where they gave 50 people the same short story to read.  Half read it on traditional paper, while the other half read it on a tablet.  Readers of the tablets scored lower when asked about chronological events in the story or arrangement of plot points.

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Though many forms existed beforehand such as parchment and papyrus, China is given credit for the invention of paper around 105 A.D.  It is no wonder why we have the connection to it that we do, as it has been a integral part of humanity.  From your favorite book to our country’s own Constitution, paper has proven its value.