Books can be thin and thick, illustrated or plain, just printed and smelling with paint or with old crispy yellow pages. Not so long time ago, people had no doubts about the immortality and sanctity of books. Even when computer technologies started their rapid development, books remained to be the most convenient, trustworthy, and compact way of storing information.
However, things have changed a lot lately. Research from EssayShark state that 1 out of 10 teens spends 40 hours per week online: scrolling social media, texting, watching videos. This waste of time is like having a full-time job! Unfortunately, these habits influence the way teens to manage to complete their personal statement writing. Many of them fail or demonstrate poor results.
These facts bring people to asking some important questions. Have books become old-fashioned in the epoch of global digitalization? Should we refuse reading printed books and turn to electronic devices? Is reading still important? And most importantly, how can we read more in the era when every minute costs a dollar?
The new age of content
The Internet set new trends and standards of information perception. More and more people complain about not being able to concentrate while reading a big text. At the end of the 90s, research figured out that people apprehend information from the screens and printed pages differently. Internet users don’t read the text. They scan in and hunt for facts, trying to evaluate the potential significance of data, easily switch to hyperlinks. Research of 2008 showed that people read only 20% of the material published in an online article. They avoid big paragraphs and jump from one header to another.
However, scanning the information has its advantages. It became known that experienced Internet users can deal with multitasking more easily, switch attention between different visual objects, and distinguish the potential significance of the content quicker. Some experts believe that these skills will help us cope with the upcoming tasks and challenges of the digital epoch.
Maryanne Wolf is a renowned writer and neurologist. She wrote a book called “Proust and the Squid” where she described stories and scientific facts about a reading brain. After the publication, she started to receive hundreds of letters from her readers. They included professors, engineers, doctors, and many other qualified experts. All of them were complaining of a low level of reading skills and information perception of the people they have to deal with. Teachers and professors at schools and universities faced the most challenges. The high-school teachers did not know how to help boost their students’ desire to read to at least complete their personal statement writing without any mistakes!
The Internet also decreases such skills as an ability to return to the rethought information, bottom-up analysis, critical thinking, imagination, and reflection.
Why should we read books in the golden age of technology?
Psychologists and neurologists at Liverpool University came up to the conclusion that sessions of reading high-grade literature influence our brain better than a rocket booster. Researchers conducted an experiment. They asked people to read original and simplified parts from creations of Shakespeare, Elliot, and Wordsworth. The reaction of the brain of every new word was analyzed with the help of a Magnetic resonance imaging. The requests were impressive! Original texts with complicated metaphors and syntax caused a longer and more powerful response and stimulated people to continue reading.
Anne Mangen conducted an experiment where she asked 72 school graduates to read pieces of fiction and information articles from a computer screen and paper. After the comprehension test, she found out that students who read the texts from paper perceived the information better and remembered more. The research also showed that people who read the same text from the iPad had a less emotional response that those who used a book. Holding a physical object in our arms, turning over and touching the pages, feeling the smell cause a stronger reaction than scrolling of web-pages and touching the screen.
How to read more books?
Come closer. We will whisper to you the secret of reading more books. Are you ready?
You need to spend more time reading books. Yes, everything is that simple. But where could you possibly find this time?
- It’s impossible to find a spare moment to read. You need to pick up a definite time and include it in your schedule. 20-30 minutes will be enough for a beginning;
- Set concrete goals and decide how many books you want to read in a year? The goal must be hard to achieve but not impossible;
- Create a read-list of the books you are planning to read and of those that you have already covered;
- Use the time you spend on your way somewhere. You can either read or listen to audiobooks while riding a bus or metro;
- Audiobooks are an excellent tool to spend your time beneficially. This time of “reading” can convenient and practical;
- Read several books at once. This will give you a chance to switch to a different topic when you get tired of the previous one;
- Try to read consciously and reflect on everything you grasped. To be concentrated, consider reading with your inner voice, making pauses and using the right intonation patterns;
- Close boring books without regrets.
As you can see, finding time is the only challenge you can face. But, do you really need to scroll down the whole news feed of Facebook and see all the new posts on Instagram? You are the one who makes a choice.