Printed books thrive in the digital age!

By North European BBT

The rise in popularity of printed books con­tinues steadily. Since 2013, print unit sales worldwide are up 10.8%, reports the pub­lishing industry.

“The smart reading device of the future may be … paper,” states WIRED! magazine. “Re­search finds that kids these days consis­tently prefer their textbooks in print rather than pixels.”

“Reading is human-­technology interaction,” says literacy professor Anne Mangen of Nor­way’s University of Stavanger. “Perhaps the tactility and physical permanence of paper yields a different cognitive and emotional experience.” This is especially true, she says, for “reading that can’t be done in snippets, scanning here and there, but requires sus­tained attention.”

“There’s nothing quite like the feel of a pa­per book. There’s the sensation of weight in your hand as you make the slow, tactile progression through time and space flipping from page to page. A book will never run out of batteries or fail to load properly. A book has history and character. It activates all of your senses as well as your mind, and the experience of each physical book is different than any other.

“Your brain is stimulated differently when you hold a book than when you hold an electronic device. We do so much on our devices these days – working, surfing, watching, listening, e­mailing, texting, chat­ting, posting, scrolling. In contrast, there’s a unique mental response that occurs when we pick up a printed book. It has one function: to convey information from the author to the reader. There is no multitask­ing inherent in a book – only learning and absorption.”