Image Credit: Reading Politics, by Grant, Creative Commons Attribution License

Image Credit: Reading Politics, by Grant, Creative Commons Attribution License

Michael Rosenwald’s (The Washington Post) recent article entitled, Why Digital Natives Prefer Reading In print. Yes, You Read That Right., explains why most college students still like to read from traditional print books. “Textbook makers, bookstore owners and college student surveys all say millennials still strongly prefer print for pleasure and learning, a bias that surprises reading experts given the same group’s proclivity to consume most other content digitally. A University of Washington pilot study of digital textbooks found that a quarter of students still bought print versions of e-textbooks that they were given for free.”

Naomi S. Baron, an American University linguist who studies digital communication, and author of Words Onscreen: The Fate of Reading In a Digital World, discovered that students read more carefully when reading in print (and takes them longer). University students’ prefer print because “readers tend to skim on screens, distraction is inevitable and comprehension suffers.”

The article reveals that Pew found the highest print readership rates are “among those ages 18 to 29, and the same age group is still using public libraries in large numbers.”

My favorite quote is from Cooper Nordquist, a student studying political science: “I can’t imagine reading Tocqueville [900-plus-page Democracy in America] or understanding him electronically…That would just be awful.”

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