Thanks to ereaders, it’s now possible to read more books than ever. But do we remember them afterwards? New research suggests that there’s a small but perceptible difference between how we register and store information from different types of media, and ebooks seem to be more forgettable than paper books.
When we read words from a page or a screen, there are many factors that affect our state of mind. For example, the difference between turning a physical page and pressing a ‘next’ button is psychologically quite important, even if many ereaders are trying to mimic the page-turning experience in digital form. Little differences such as this can add up to create a very different reading experience.
At the same time, it should be noted that ereaders and ebooks are still relatively new. Our brains can, and probably will, evolve to adapt to new technology, but this won’t happen overnight. As more people get used to digital reading devices, we might find that we become better at processing and storing information that comes to us via digital formats.