These writers tackle the subject of reading on a screen vs. reading a paper book. As it is clear, there are some advantages to reading digital media compared to reading in a paper medium. One of those things is dealing with research. Research on a digital device is so much easier than through encyclopedias on bookshelves. I cannot understand how it was plausible to do research before online sources were a thing. It must have consumed so much time and effort to find the exact evidence or information needed to pose a specific argument. If someone needed a piece of literature by a specific author, and their library did not have it, would they travel to another library in search of it? or would it no longer be worth it to use that author’s information?
Today with online reserves and scholarly articles, it is much easier to read through and choose specific articles that help support a thesis. It is still a time consuming task, but takes a lot less effort to use. With a search bar everything becomes easier. Articles elsewhere also help people read better and faster than say with a newspaper. If I want to read an article from the New York Times, I can find it on their online newspaper version, and it will lead me to similar articles. In this way, it becomes easier to avoid what you do not want to read and focus only on what you want to read.
Hyperlinks make going from one source to another very easy. As this article mentions, “a hyperlink brings you to information faster but is also more of a distraction.” Though the internet may be a quicker and more concise way to find the information you need, it is also a much bigger distraction to readers. Articles with many links that lead to other pages may lead to a reader never finishing an article, since they are so eager to start reading other articles through these hyperlinks. it is important to understand and realize that reading through the internet is sometimes not as advantageous as it may seem. As some authors to this article have mentioned, people read slower when they read on screens vs. when they read on paper. This can be linked to just reading from a digital screen, or it can be related to the hyperlink/distraction aspect of the internet. Many times when people read on the internet, it takes them so long to finish a piece because they are taking breaks to check their Facebook, or other social media tabs that they have open.
I personally prefer reading real books when i want to immerse myself in what it has to say. If the information is simply something that I need to solve a problem, then I do not mind having to find it through an online text. Online is a better medium for skimming in my opinion. I find it hard to explain the advantages and disadvantages of a text book vs. an online textbook otherwise. It seems that regular textbooks are just more cumbersome, hard to carry around, and hard to keep open when laying on a couch.