Digital Reading Poses Learning Challenges

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Before you send your students off to school, learn how to make this school year the most successful it could possibly be. Careful to not pack that digital tablet in your backpack! Print is still the way to go…

“Comprehension may suffer when students read on the digital devices now flooding into classrooms, an emerging body of research suggests… When reading on screens, for example, people seem to reflexively skim the surface of texts in search of specific information, rather than dive in deeply in order to draw inferences, construct complex arguments, or make connections to their own experiences. Research has also found that students, when reading digitally, tend to discard familiar print-based strategies for boosting comprehension.”

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Help us spread the Printed Word! Choose Print!

No Need to Fear, Print is Holding Its Own

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People should not be so pessimistic. Book manufacturers and printing companies are keeping stride with e-books; print is here to stay.

Book lovers are fighting back and not willing to wave goodbye to their publishing and printing companies. Colin Robinson, founder of New York-based independent publishing company, OR books, recently wrote an article in the Guardian advising ten ideas he has to save the publishing industry.[1]

Jeremy Greenfield, editorial director of Digital Book World, responded to Robinson’s article in Forbes magazine. Greenfield draws attention to a detail many people fail to consider, “The publishing industry isn’t a monolithic thing: some publishers are doing well and others are not.” In our current economy, it seems unfair to judge an entire industry and generalize by giving it one label. The publishing and print worlds, just like all other industries in our country, have stories of successes and failures.

People have been focusing on the book industry’s sufferings, but as Greenfield goes on to say about the publishing world, “But if it were a monolithic thing, it would be pretty healthy right now. According to the latest stats from the Association of American Publishers, sales across the entire book industry were up about 7% through May of this year versus the first five months of last year. Across trade publishing (most books you see in bookstores), sales were up about 15%… These two data points, taken separately and together, suggest that publishing is thriving and, further, smaller and medium-sized publishers have more sales this year than last.”[2] In Canada, print sales still dominate the charts. Paperback books represent an estimated 56.7% of the market and hardcovers make up 23.6%.[3]

Also, what is all the hype over e-book and digital tablets? In fact, did you know that growth for adult e-books, the largest category for e-books, has slowed? Digital publishing revenues at Random House and Hachette are only up 6% on their total revenues from 2011.[4]

E-books are simply a fad, a current trend, comparable to toys such as Nintendo’s Game Boy or the popular 90’s toy, the Tamagatchi. These two products are examples of items whose hot-spot in the limelight has faded dramatically and cease to be part of most current conversations. Books, on the other hand, have been around for hundreds of years and are much more stable.

Choose The P.A. Hutchison Company and Choose Print!

Frequent Headaches? Blurry Vision? Avoid e-Readers

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Do you feel as though you always seem to have a headache? Is it getting harder to see clearly? If you are experiencing these uncomfortable symptoms, you may have Computer Vision Syndrome.

Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) is an uncomfortable condition that could cause headaches, eye strain, blurred vision, dry eyes, and neck and shoulder pain. These symptoms could be caused from poor lighting and staring at a computer screen.[1] Harvey Moscot, a New York City–based optometrist, has said if a person spends more than two hours staring at a screen, whether it is an e-book, a smart phone, or a laptop, CVS could occur. The optometrist goes on to say “Apple’s iPad and Barnes & Noble’s Nook-Color, have a backlit LCD screen, similar to a computer monitor.”[2] With screens similar to a computer how could these e-readers be healthy and enjoyable for one to read from?

People with lower visual abilities and have impairments such as astigmatisms, farsightedness, trouble with focusing eyes, and presbyopia, are more susceptible to facing issues when constantly reading from a computer screen.[3]

So what causes CVS? Reading from computer screens causes more work for a person’s eyes. Often, text on a computer or any digital tablet’s screen is not as clear and defined as a printed page, contrast of letters to the background is reduced, and glares on the screen could make reading a struggle. Therefore, reading from a digital screen is different and more difficult than to read from a printed page.[4]

Dr. Robert Staples, optometrist at Texas Tech Physicians-Eye Clinic, explains how even a person’s blinking affects CVS. “Through the development of more high-tech gadgets from iPhones, iPads, e-books, video games and laptops to desk computers, most people are spending more time staring at a screen. That stare down is causing many to suffer from Computer Vision Syndrome… Reading something on a computer screen is different than reading a newspaper or magazine… When a person is using a device like a computer or phone, they tend to be extremely concentrated on that object. Typically a person blinks 15 times a minute. When staring at a screen, we decrease our blinking to about twice a minute, causing eye problems.”

Left untreated, CVS could cause reoccurring pain, further eye issues, and blurred vision.[5] Doctors estimate that nearly 80 million people in the U.S. could have CVS. Printed items have greater contrasts from text and backgrounds, while electronic screens are more difficult to bring into focus and require more effort.[6]

Do not be a victim and included in this number. Read print and avoid the risk of eye problems caused by e-books and other digital devices. Reconsider giving e-books as presents this holiday season. Follow The P.A. Hutchison Company and give a book; they are enjoyable to read, and do not cause vision disorders.