I am an avid reader—have been since childhood. I am also a technology geek, so when e-readers hit the market I was ecstatic. No more toting heavy tomes on long trips, no fear of running out of something to read, no more books cluttering the nooks and crannies in my house. I was sure my quality of life was going to improve. However, three e-readers, two tablets and four mobile devices later, I still find myself drawn to good old paper—and not just because I earn my living in the printing industry.
An interesting study that came out over the summer indicated that reading retention was significantly lower in those who used e-readers versus printed books. I started thinking about that. I am the type that when I read a book review in a magazine or newspaper, and it sounds like it’s one I might enjoy, I download it right away. Once I read a book on my e-reader, I immediately delete it and send it to the cloud. But more and more frequently, I’ve discovered as I come across a review for a book and I go to download it, I get that message “you previously downloaded this book.” While I appreciate the reminder so I’m not double paying, I tend to feel a bit confused … I’ve already read this book? So I’ll go to the cloud, download it, read a few pages and find I have absolutely no recall.