Reading in and of itself has plenty of benefits for our minds: Studies have shown that reading over the course of a lifetime (or even starting to read consistently when you’re well into your 60s and 70s) can prevent mental decline. Along with keeping your mind sharp and enlarging your knowledge base, reading can expand your sense of empathy, too. A 2013 study found that when people were transported into the emotional travails of books’ characters, they grew to become more empathetic in real life.
So the act of reading is great, of course. But the way you’re reading also has an impact on your physical and mental health. In our technology-driven world, the paper book has been replaced by electronic devices — Kindles and Nooks, and even reading on your laptop or smartphone. Good old-fashioned books are no longer seen as practical.
Researchers have been examining the differences between reading regular books and e-books for years. Many of the studies have shown that reading old-fashioned books has plenty of advantages over e-books, which can be gateways to other electronic distractions, all of which screw with your sleep. This is why you should ditch the screen for printed pages.
I – Word Understanding
travails – difficult experience or situation
screw – disturb or interrupt
ditch – to end (using something); to get rid of
II – Have Your Say
Here are some reasons why we should all start to read paper books again:
1. A 2014 study found that readers who used Kindles were less competent in recalling the plot and events in the book than those who used paperbacks.
2. A recent study out of Harvard University found that reading an e-book before bed lessened the production of an important sleep hormone known as melatonin.
3. Reading helps you de-stress faster but reading on a device might cancel out this effect, and may even impact your stress levels negatively.