Friday, October 16, 2009

NYTimes: Does the Brain Like E-Books?

The New York Times Room for Debate blog has a popular discussion about the future of books. Personally, I have never used an Amazon kindle or portable device to access and read text from a screen. Call me old-fashioned, but I need to highlight and write notes on the margins.

Here is the question:
Is there a difference in the way the brain takes in or absorbs information when it is presented electronically versus on paper? Does the reading experience change, from retention to comprehension, depending on the medium?

1 comment:

Amy Rose said...

Hi MichiganGirl! I'm a fellow Macro SW student (University of South Carolina).

Both my husband and I have Amazon Kindles. I never thought I'd be interested in having one but my husband noticed that since starting grad school all pleasure reading stopped for me. No newspapers, no magazines, no books. Anytime I picked up any of that I felt like I needed to be reading my endless class readings instead. SO he bought me a kindle with the intent that I'd get some newpapers delivered to it and maybe a magazine and therefore have something small and compact I could keep in my book-bag. What I ended up using it for was transferring over all of the articles that my profs give in pdf form (or that I can get off the internet in pdf form) so I don't have to drag around stacks of print outs and killing trees.

I've read numerous novels now on it (during summer and winter breaks!) and I love it. I still get immersed in the book the same way. The kindle is designed to look like ink on a page. It doesn't have a bright back-light like most portable electronics that give me a headache (like a nintendo ds).