Your Paper Brain And Your Kindle Brain Aren’t The Same Thing
Long ago, there was only one way to read text as books, newspapers, and magazines only came in print form. That is until November of 2007 when tech giant Amazon released the first e-reader, the Kindle. In five and a half hours, the innovative product sold out. The excitement was that you could get any book in the blink of an eye. Libraries and bookstore shook in their boots as other e-readers and tablets allowed users to download books. Was this the end of print?
Years later, print is still very much alive and well. A vast majority of the population, roughly 67%, still prefer to read print. This “new” trend peaked researchers’ curiosity as to whether the two mediums affected how you read. They concluded that your paper brain and your Kindle brain aren’t the same thing. Here’s why.
What the research shows
Manoush Zomorodi, managing editor, and host of WNYC’s New Tech City studied the differences between the two. In a conversation with Washington Post’s Mike Rosenwald, who also researched the effects of reading on a screen, both came to the same conclusion. Zomorodi says, “He found, like I did, that when he sat down to read a book his brain was jumping around on the page. He was skimming and he couldn’t just settle down. He was treating a book like he was treating his Twitter feed,” she says. In other words, when reading print you are reading linearly while reading on a Kindle causes you to read non-linearly.
Linear reading versus non-linear reading
When discussing how your paper brain and your Kindle brain aren’t the same thing, you have to understand the difference between linear reading and non-linear reading. Linear reading is how you learn to read from day one. Parents and teachers open a book with their little ones and read top to bottom, starting at page one and reading in succession. Non-linear reading is when you jump around. How many times in this blog post did you go from one header to another further down the page to skim through the article to get to the point you care about most? If so, you are like many people who are used to reading on a screen. Is this something to be concerned about raising a generation of students learning to read non-linearly? Adults encourage students to learn to read both ways, as each have their own benefits. Reading on paper, or linearly, allows for deep reading. Meanwhile, reading non-linearly is good for students to quickly skim through the web to find resources to use their deep reading skills later.
Deep reading is the type of reading you do when concentrating on a document or novel. You wouldn’t skim through your biochemistry book to prepare for an exam. However, there is a problem students now face due to reading too much content off of e-readers. “The problem is,” Zomorodi says, “that many of us have adapted to reading online just too well. And if you don’t use the deep reading part of your brain, you lose the deep reading part of your brain.” Therefore, you need to develop a skill that would allow you to quickly deep read the material. This is why learning how to speed reading is so essential for all college students to learn.
They don’t teach speed reading in high school or college. It is a course you need to take during your free time. Iris reading offers online courses that teach you how to read more than 500 words per minute while retaining all the information. Click the link to learn more and see how it is possible to continue to use your Kindle for school.