In many ways, digital technology is a vast improvement on what came before it. There are countless examples of this. The mp3 vs. the record, cassette tape, or even cd player. The smartphone vs. the landline. The calculator vs. pencil and paper. All of these technological advancements have made possible things that were previously unimaginable. We can carry around libraries of music and books in our pockets, call and text anyone anywhere at anytime, and solve complicated mathematical problems in a split second.
But behind all of these advantages are the inevitable disadvantages. We can carry around thousands of songs in our pocket, but we trade the analog warmth and fidelity of a vinyl record for a digital sequence of ones and zeros. We can talk to anyone anywhere with smartphones, but more and more people walk around with their heads buried in their phones, oblivious to the outside world. We can do our taxes and calculate a tip with our phones, but we may be losing our math skills in the process.
The point is, there are trade-offs everywhere you look, including in the relationship between the printed word on paper vs. on an electronic device. A new article on Wired says it best: “Why the Smart reading Device of the Future May Be…Paper.” As it turns out, several studies suggest that readers are better able to engage with the text when it’s read on printed paper as opposed to a digital screen. Not only that, but they can retain the information in the text better from paper vs. from a screen.
What are the reasons for this? The studies name several. One could be the fact that brain is distracted by having to scroll through long texts on a digital device, causing the reader to lose his or her place and train of thought, and disrupting their short term memory. In addition, the size and weight give the reader information which a tablet or computer cannot:
From this perspective, the feel of pages under one’s fingertips isn’t simply old-fashioned charm. It’s a rich source of information, subconsciously informing readers of their position in a text. Reading experts say that sense of position is important: It provides a sort of conceptual scaffold on which information and memory is automatically arranged, and the scaffold is strongest when built from both visual and tactile cues.
Read the full article here.
Advantage Book Binding has been in the book binding business since 1985, when we were founded on the principle “we do a quality book on time.” Since then we’ve seen plenty of changes both in and out of the industry. While some have sounded the death knell for books and other physical media, we believe that the fact that we continue to be an industry leader into the 21st century is a testament not only to our longevity as a company but to that of our craft. We think it’s important to keep books and physical media on the shelves, which is why we dedicate ourselves to providing you with the highest quality book binding and post press services available.
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