Reading: Paper vs Screen vs Audio

from OverDrive’s Digital Library Blog by Cindy Orr

Centuries ago it was strange and frightening to see someone read silently. People wondered what was happening to the person who was staring at a book but saying nothing. Were they possessed? Were they all right? This is because the norm until the 10th century was to read aloud. Monasteries weren’t the quiet places we imagine. The monks were all mumbling to themselves!

Sony ReaderWe don’t think about it much, but styles of reading have changed over time–even on paper. Scrolls were one format, and then the book (or codex) was invented. Moveable type made reading even easier. And now we can read on screens and listen to audiobooks. But is the experience the same?

Some people say it isn’t. One reading expert insists that handling a paper book makes reading physically rewarding because we see those finished pages grow on the left hand side as we read. But others would say that the most elegant thing about a paper book is that it “disappears” as we read, leaving just us and the story–but that is also the goal of good electronic reading devices. Read More..

What do you think?


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