E reading And The Effect It Has On Us

One of my favourite smells, since childhood, has been the smell of a new book. Since I was lucky enough to be encouraged into reading at an early age, a visit to the book shop or even to the library was an event.

While e readers do not offer that heavenly smell let’s have a good look at the positives and negatives of e reading.

The children, in the present times grow up with computers and develop cognitive abilities that are different from what we had when we were their age.

One of the research conducted at Umea University in Sweden, clearly established, through their analysis that the digital voice has become a vital component for activating engagement and motivation for reading.

Other research studies and observation among children, in these contemporary times, clearly have established that the voice that accompanies e reading, helps significantly towards a better grasp of the subject they are learning.

Add to that visuals and you have a winner.

However, all is not hunky-dory.

The benefits we enjoyed of the family environment and the pleasure of being read to when we were little, appears to have more or less gone except among those families where importance is still given to the traditional forms of learning and the parents invest time, even in this fast-paced environment, to read to their children.

A study during its investigation found multimedia features such as animated pictures, music and sound effects contributed to the benefits of learning.

At the same time other elements such as hotspots and games were found to be distracting.

Not surprisingly, the study also delves into the shallowness of learning and short attention span.

Another research established that the use of light emitting e books when used a few hours before bedtime can adversely impact overall health, alertness and the biological clock which synchronizes the daily rhythm of sleep.

From my personal experience I can only say that a good paperback rather than an e book is my preferred option on those occasional nights when I have difficulty sleeping.

Call it old fashioned but reading the traditional way does appear to have a soothing effect in contrast to the alertness that electronic devices create.

Photo: Shutterstock

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