The Vast Benefits of Reading Books in PrintBy David Thompson, UniversityHerald Reporter
In recent years, technology has created an advent in storytelling through imagery with not only the Internet, but hybrid Internet and television mediums. The Internet and social media have given rise to an audience of individuals who have begun telling their own narratives and writing their life stories online. Yet, paradoxically, the rise of Internet communication has created the opposite desire for many people. People may crave feeling the touch of a book, the professional voice and polished craft of a published writer, and long for the books of olden days.
Many readers also had a love affair with eBooks and publications presented to them on their favorite electronic devices. Yet, BulkBooks recently pointed out that in "2021, 45% bought printed books compared to 23% who bought e-books." This means that while e-books enjoyed a rise in popularity in the most recent decade, the change did not impact the public's primary method of consuming literature. While it seems like the days of bookstores, print media, and libraries are quaint and bygone, the fact is that nearly half of all readers still buy books as of this year. This means that reading print books hasn't died off completely.
When it comes to literature, reading proficiency and knowledge seem undervalued, and massive Hollywood budgets contribute to making the multidimensional world of movies come to life. Yet, it is precisely that illusion that persists in making it seem as though reading books is boring. If every book in the library was featured on commercial breaks, sold as toys at fast food markets, and took up billboards, then books would take the forefront of cultural lore. However, it so happens that people love books and are bibliophiles and don't require the same hype and Hollywood glamour.
People love books because it feels more intimate to read the words an author has put on the page. It is a form of kinship and affinity where a writer is putting their soul on the page and can articulate their thoughts through this fashion. When people read books, studies have shown that they are more likely to become immersed in printed text and verses. The phone and computer can present them with a glare, whereas a book is like an old friend and will soothe them. When people read a book, they can keep a simple, single light on and flip through the pages without worrying whether the brightness of the page is going to impact the quality of their sleep. In such cases, books are how people keep from being alone and heal their readers.
Beyond the literary value of books, there is more knowledge and insight to be gained from paper media. Book readers are able to underline and highlight passages that are meaningful to them. Their ability to invest and engage with books makes them more likely to retain knowledge.
In short, don't let the hype about electronic media always sway one's ideas about books. Books are peoples' oldest friends and have survived the emergence of television and will continue to be read despite what new media arises. After all, there's nothing as comforting as a bookshelf filled with well-worn and loved books. They are sources of knowledge that can be read and reread time again.