Kindle versus Book

Does Kindle get it?

Now all of you with logical minds are shaking your heads in incredulity at the ridiculous nature of the above question!  It is, of course, an inanimate object with no ability to ‘get’ anything.  But hear me out, I’ve learnt something fascinating over the last week.

A while ago I read a self help book and got a huge amount from it. In fact, it had a massive impact on me.  Kindle wins over books due to the compact nature of their physicality and the fact that I can carry a huge amount of books on one tiny device that lives in my handbag.  As I have to do a lot of research it’s invaluable for being able to switch from book to book in an instant and being able to have all the books I need in one SMALL place!

Reading Kindle

So….as I’m blessed with the ability to ‘speed read’, I can devour a book in a few hours and gain all of the information I need from it.  However, some books need more thorough reading and with these I do take my time and make sure I’ve understood properly the content rather than risking losing a vital piece of information.

So where is this all going?

Well, I downloaded said book onto my Kindle when I decided to re-read it for the sake of convenience and read it carefully ‘cover to cover’.  Once I’d reached the end I was baffled at how the information hadn’t had the same effect on me?  Maybe because I’ve read it before and it was old information?  I wasn’t sure, so I dug out the ‘real’ book and started reading it again.  The words were exactly the same but I was reacting differently to them.  I felt the way I’d felt the first time I read it.  ODD…to say the least!


How can this be explained?

I’ve pondered this endlessly over the last couple of weeks and would love to hear from someone who knows what they’re talking about who can explain what it is about, presumably, the brain that causes this inequality.  I have a few theories myself.

  • Is it the physical act of turning pages that makes the whole thing seem more ‘real’?
  • Maybe words printed on paper carry more ‘weight’?
  • Is this just my personal perception due to being brought up with books?
  • Or is there something about the way our brains are wired that enables us to take in the printed word more readily than the screen word?

All of this brings us to a whole new argument about the current young generation and the way the majority now learn from screens rather than having to do lengthy research in the library?  Are they learning on a shallower level and will this impede them in later life or am I talking a load of crap? 

Having said that, when I’m writing a book and needing to edit it, I have to print it out in order to be able to see properly what I’m doing.  Trying to edit on screen is almost impossible, maybe due to having to scroll back and forth between pages?  Or are we back to the conundrum of whether the brain works more efficiently with words printed on paper?

I think this is worth discussion and possibly research as to whether the brain does actually learn more from one entity than the other.  After all, we still have a lot of our primal brain intact and still utilise this far more than most of us realise.  Maybe our brains haven’t yet caught up with technology on an evolutionary level?

If anyone out there has the answer, please let me know.  In the meantime, if I want to really learn from a book it will be a good old fashioned printed one!!!

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