Read Something Not Digital #bebetter52

A Return to the Good Old Days

Hopefully, we have all experienced the magical transporting power of a good book. You become lost in the pages, carried away into another world. The next question is, when is the last time you slowed down enough to read a printed book?

When every kind of information can be flashed across our smartphones or tablets, the art of reading from a non-digital platform might seem lost. Reading a book, complete with tangible cover and pages, may seem “old-school” to you. This week’s #bebetter52 challenge is to take time to unwind with a good printed book, ideally before bed to help prepare for a good night’s sleep.

The benefits of reading have been taught to us since we were kindergarteners. Reading exercises our brains, increases our vocabulary, improves our concentration and develops our imagination.

Additionally, reading is fun, fascinating, and free.

The less obvious part of this week’s #bebetter52 challenge is the answer to why we are encouraging you to read something non-digital versus digital. Neuroscientists have discovered humans use a different part of their brain when reading from paper versus a screen. An article from PRI titled, “Your paper brain and your Kindle brain aren’t the same thing,” states, “The more you read on screens, the more your mind shifts toward “non-linear” reading-- a practice that involves things like skimming a screen or having your eyes dart around a web page.” This article suggests we may have adapted to reading online a little too well. Non-linear reading is different than the “deep reading” you are able to do on non-digital platforms. Deep reading is dense text we want or need to understand such as when we “immerse ourselves in a novel or read a mortgage document.”

Our recommendation is to read non-digital books. The brightness from a “light-emitting device” before bedtime has been proven scientifically to “make it more difficult to fall asleep, feel sleepier in the morning and have less REM sleep.” The most interesting part of this study is that “light suppresses melatonin, which is a sleep-promoting hormone, by more than 50 percent.”

We love the list of top 10 reasons to drop that kindle by

1.     Print books have pages that are nice and soft to touch.

2.     Print books are better at conveying information.

3.     Print books are yours for life.

4.     Print books are physical reminders of your intellectual journeys.

5.     Print books are great to share.

6.     You can write in the margins of a print book.

7.     Print books have jackets, so people know what other people are reading, making reading a community-building act.

8.     Print books are fairer to writers.

9.     Print books are better for your health.

10.  Print books are theft-resistant.