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Are e-readers better than printed books?
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A reader can retain information longer with printed books

The simplistic nature of a printed book encourages the reader to focus primarily on the content of the written words, cultivating conditions that help the reader absorb information. It engages almost all the senses of the human body to give a wholesome experience to the reader.

The Argument

Reading is a completely immersive experience that allows for the development of the reader’s intellectual capabilities. Studies have shown that reading from a physical copy of the book enables the mind to focus solely on the task at hand. This increases concentration allowing for better reception of the information in the book. Seeing the progress one makes in looking at the number of pages left to read, and slowly watching it dwindle, provides an extra burst of motivation to focus on the book, and its content. Because physical copies of books are easier to read for longer periods than electronic devices, it allows the readers to read more and with greater concentration, without having to deal with eye strain, fatigue or even headaches. When reading on electronic devices, because of the internet connection, the reader is often sorely tempted to surf different social media platforms, or even binge-watch a show. This temptation is avoided when reading physical books, preventing any distractions. Studies have shown that the information that one reads just before falling asleep is, contrary to popular belief, much more easily remembered than that read during the daytime. A good night’s sleep is important for this process to work flawlessly. However, the blue light emitted from electronic devices hinders the body’s ability to fall asleep easily, also causing the individual to be groggy and cranky in the morning. Physical books on the other have no such effect on the human body.[1]

Counter arguments

The debate between e-readers and paperbacks in terms of learning efficacy and information retention remains ambiguous, as studies have shown data being supportive of both mediums. If there is any reason to doubt e-readers it would be the eye fatigue caused by prolonged viewing of the screen. This can be easily remedied with short breaks every 30 mins.



[P1] - People focus more on the contents of a physical book. [P2] - E-readers can be a source of distraction with the internet connection and its other facilities.

Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Thursday, 20 May 2021 at 20:47 UTC

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