As we New Trier students should know with our iPad textbooks, reading books in a digitized format is become increasingly popular in the United States. Although in my opinion, reading books in print is much better for learning as well as enjoyment and even health.
In a recent study comparing reading comprehension on Kindles versus books in print, "'The Kindle readers performed significantly worse on the plot reconstruction measure, ie, when they were asked to place 14 events in the correct order"'. This means that reading from ebooks impedes readers' ability to remember events in chronological order. A lead researcher of the study, Anne Magnum, suggested that in books in print, one can feel how far they are in a book by the amount of pages on the left side of the book versus the right, whereas on the Kindle one cannot do that, and every page appears the same progress-wise. This would make it more difficult for ebook readers to place events in chronological order. Knowing the correct order of events in a story is extremely important to the comprehension of the book. If one does not know the chronology, they may misunderstand certain causes and effects in the book, and wouldn't even be able to tell an accurate summary of the story.
Believe it or not, reading books on a screen with a backlight, which is the case for many forms of ebooks such as those on a computer or iPad, has a negative effect on health, specifically sleep patterns. According to Sara Margolin of the State University of New York, reading ebooks with backlights at night can “'upset our circadian rhythm, making sleep more difficult'” A lot of people, including myself, enjoy reading at night before going to sleep, and with ebooks this is potentially hurtful to health because it could lead to getting less sleep than needed. This is the main other thing that I do not like about ebooks.
Clearly I do not think that ebooks are such a great thing, and therefore it is upsetting to me that bookstores are losing business due to the new popularity of ebooks, and that many schools are attempting to digitize all of their texts. I hope that further studies will be done to show the negative effects of ebooks and more people will share my opinion on the topic someday.