You probably think you’re gaining something when you read an e-book, but have you ever thought about what you might be losing? An e-book may be more accessible and more convenient to read when on the go or in a dark room, but you’re actually slowly destroying a different ability, according to a recent study.
We are the age of Facebook and Twitter and have thus been taught to limit our reading abilities. Twitter allows only 140 characters and as a society, most of us love that because once we see a long post we’re more likely to scroll past.
Different parts of your brain are used when reading on a screen than when reading from a piece of paper. Your eyes tend to dart around when reading from a screen because you’re skimming the information and not actually taking it all in. This is something we tend to do often. It’s kind of like reading the last page of a book, which is pretty ghastly to any avid book reader. We’re trying to gain knowledge quicker rather than truly studying the material in front of us … sound familiar?
In this particular theory, there are two different types of reading: Non-linear and deep reading. When you focus too heavily on non-linear, you start to lose your ability for deep reading. Similar to building slow or fast-twitch muscles. Non-linear is just skimming a page and darting from thing to thing, whereas deep reading is immersing yourself in the words and truly taking them in.
So, if you care about your ability to deep read, put down the plastic and pick up some paper.