Books are the best!

-Books are a uniquely portable magic.-As an obsessive reader, I love the feel and and heft of a real book. Yeah, they have their drawbacks. Books take up a lot of space. Moving apartments becomes an ordeal. Bringing enough books to entertain me for a long flight requires a sturdy carryon bag and an arm workout. But I think it’s worth it.

I was excited to see this article outlining the many, many benefits of reading a physical book as opposed to an electronic text. Some of them were not surprising:

  • Reading a physical book improves comprehension and memory of what you’ve read. You might find when taking a test or trying to find a reference that you recall the physical location of information in a book (it was on the lower left-hand page around halfway through the book . . .). In fact, researchers suggest that bringing in the additional sense of touch enhances memory for what you’ve read.
  • Physical books help exercise your cognitive capabilities. People read differently on the web than they do with a physical text. The way people read in a physical book encourages deeper processing and more complicated skills like reading literary sentences, versus bulleted lists.
One of the bookshelves in my apartment--boy, will this be fun to move someday.
One of the bookshelves in my apartment–boy, will this be fun to move someday.

Other benefits of physical books did surprise me, at least at first:

I’ll admit, I like the Kindle more than I expected to, but 99.9% of the time I still read a real book. Science has my back.