Few things are as fascinating than books. They hold many more stories than the text in their pages because, when you think about it, our relationship with them is really a physical one.
There’s no denying the convenience of e-books, from the ease of storage to lower prices, but to call print books obsolete is a big mistake, just take a look at the following advantages of printed books over ebooks .
1. It’s better for your health
Constant fear of everything is something you grow immune to when you start reading books, incidentally, but there are quite a few studies that also link the time you spend looking at screens with a negative impact in your sleep patterns, and therefore on your overall health.
According to the Harvard study, which made the above connection, people who read on a tablet in bed took longer to fall asleep, spent less time in REM sleep (also known as deep sleep), and where less alert and more tired after waking up. So, even if you’re still getting a solid 8 hours of sleep, using a screen won’t let you rest as well as you could with a printed book.
2. They help you absorb and retain more information
According to an Italian study made in 2014, readers of physical books remember a larger portion of a plot than e-book users. The former also scored better in empathy, immersion, and had a deeper understanding of the plot, results that were linked by the scientists conducting the experiment to the tactile sensation of the book.
Being able to physically measure how much you’ve read of a particular book helps readers have a firmer grasp of their progress, on top of the fact that print books make it much easier to go back and read any page you want again.
3. A physical library at home makes for better students
A study of readers in over 42 countries showed that students with books in their households scored higher marks on tests, regardless of how many, but with each additional book related to better performance, especially with children who come from disadvantaged families.
The researchers in charge of the study believe that this result might be because being exposed to books from a young age encourages students to read for fun, which in turn makes them talk about what they have learned, giving them a chance for feedback that will further benefit their academic development.
4. It’s just plain more enjoyable
Who doesn’t love the smell of an old book? Well, turns out this is more than just a quirk of readers. Scientists have done chemical analyses of the pages from old books and found that the smell of lignin has similar components to vanilla, and hints of grass, which makes whiffing an old book an experience not unlike smelling a garden of flowers or a nice perfume.
Students from around the world have also reported preferring print books because of the feeling they get from touching and leafing through them at any moment they please, as well as fewer distractions from not having to interact with a device, among others.
5. They make for fantastic discoveries
Anyone with a book collection, no matter how small, will be fast to tell you just how great it feels to find a rare book in a bazaar, or discovering new titles through sharing with their friends – or even strangers. Lending books can be seen as a symbol of trust, especially if it has an intimate meaning for the person that’s sharing it.
The fact is that print books are physical objects that grow more unique over time, so it’s no surprise that people feel attracted to the story that’s told outside of the text of each book. Even a book that you thought lost in your own house can be fascinating – although you might need some help cleaning if that happens frequently.
There you have them, though of course, the reasons for each person will vary for ebooks vs printed books. There’s just no telling what personal significance a book will have for someone, so the fact that people still choose to carry hundreds of pounds of books every time they move should surprise no one. Why not rebuild your physical collection to keep you company down the line?