Books are Here to Stay

Category - Education
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Books are a man’s best friend and have been here to stay for a long time. You will come across many people saying that books are dead. However, this is just a myth. They are not dead; they are more alive than they ever were.

The technological advancements

Even with the advancements of technology, physical books are here to stay and will not go anywhere in the future either.

The latest technologies that we use in everyday life, such as augmented reality, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and others, have made this easy and convenient for us.

However, does this mean that these technologies will replace books when it comes to education or learning?

Of Course Not.

Despite the rise of technological advancements and ebooks, physical copies of books are not going anywhere.

Ebooks offer several advantages to readers.

You will find many people reading Kindle editions of books while traveling on the train or at home. It is a fact that e-books offer many benefits to readers. Some of them include:

  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Instant access
  • It is easy to transport.
  • Readers like the Kindle can store many books.
  • Environmentally friendly

However, the physical copy of the book that we see is more than just a collection of text, paper, and images. They are magic words that are strung together to infuse better understanding of a topic on which you are reading.

What about the health hazards of screen reading?

  • Most of us spend a good 7-8 hours reading text on the screen.
  • Reading a book on a tablet or laptop strains the eyes, and sometimes even causes watery eyes.
  • Extended reading time on screens has been linked to many health problems.
  • Health problems in screen reading are not just related to the eyes, but the spinal cord and brain as well.
  • The blue light emerging from the screen impacts the eyes, and lack of proper posture affects the coordination and equilibrium of the body.

Digital reading or watching videos and the eyes

When you read a book on a digital medium like a laptop, tablet, or a smartphone, or for that matter, even watching a video or animation, your eyes have to focus and refocus on the content all the time. The eyes move back and forth as you are reading the text or observing the images. Your eyes react to images constantly moving and changing positions. This shifts the focus of the eyes, sending rapidly varying images to the brain. Reading a digital version of the book or watching videos on YouTube or animations takes a huge toll on the eye muscles. To make this even worse, unlike a book, the screen adds the elements of sharpness, contrast, glare, and flicker.

Carefully observe this the next time you read a book on your laptop or tablet.

Your eyes will blink far less frequently when using a digital medium for reading or watching educational videos. This results in the eyes drying out, causing blurred vision in front of the screen.

"A room without books is like a body without a soul."...
Marcus Tullius Cicero

Reading rhymes vs. watching videos

  • Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water.
  • Jonny Jonny, Yes Papa.
  • Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall.
  • Five little monkeys are jumping on the bed.

These rhymes and stories have been in existence for several years and are still popular today with small kids going to school.

Reading a book that has rhymes will give much more depth towards learning, even though the video has similar content. While reading, kids will imagine the actions happening, create the visualization in their mind, and remember words and their spellings.

To put it simply and effectively, reading a book involves using the brain and improves the powers of concentration and imagination.

Watching the video after reading the content in the book would make more sense. It will be amazing to have the same content narrated twice through different mediums—books and visuals.

This is true not just for rhymes and stories, but for any books that are printed.

With printed books, there are fewer distractions.

When reading a digital version of a book or watching a video on a laptop, smartphone, or tablet, there are several distractions, mainly browsing the internet. With printed versions of books, there is more focus and the attention span is greater too

Readers still prefer to read printed books.

  • Instead of staring at electronic devices, readers prefer to hold a real hard copy of the book in their hands, turn the pages, and, most importantly, make key notes for future reference.
  • While it is possible to prepare notes when reading a pdf version of a book, reading it online or on another platform may not offer this option.
  • When watching videos and animations, it is difficult to pause and make notes.
  • Thus, note-taking is more effective and convenient in the case of printed books compared to the digital version.

You can read books at any time, anywhere.

  • Electronic devices and gadgets need to be charged in order to be used for reading ebooks, audiobooks, watching videos, and animations.
  • Internet connectivity is also needed to read and watch on many electronic devices.
  • Both the internet and electricity may be a problem in remote areas.
  • However, with a printed book, everything is just so easy. You can carry it everywhere, open it, and read it whenever you like.
  • There is no need for a battery, charger, or internet connection for reading a book.

Greater Satisfaction Levels

  • Reading a physical copy of a book is more interesting and offers greater satisfaction levels than watching videos or reading ebooks.
  • Also, learners can feel their progress, how much they have read throughout the day, and how much is still pending. This is difficult to gauge in the case of ebooks.

Improved retention

  • Readers tend to absorb and retain information better from printed books than from digital devices like computers or tablets.
  • Also, they tend to comprehend information much more easily when physical copies of books are involved.

Keeping in mind the benefits offered by books, it is highly unlikely that they will be completely replaced. Audiobooks, ebooks, videos, animations, presentations, can complement books, but will never make reading and books obsolete.

"Books are a uniquely portable magic."
– Stephen King