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Reading in the 21st century – digital and print compared (infographic)

Reading in the 21st century
The Digital Brain – a part of a fantastic reading infographic by Morgan Beatty, University of Cincinnati / Image: Information is Beautiful Awards

Check out how digital-first approach changes your reading style and habits.

Take a look at a wonderful infographic designed by Morgan Beatty from University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning.

The visual puts together interesting facts that help learn how reading evolves in the times when we are exposed to digital screens.

Reading digital books gives lots of benefits, naming only holding extensive collections of books always with you, customizing reading interface, easy purchasing, syncing and highlighting.

However, switching from reading print to electronic books brings disadvantages, and even threats. Here are a few examples:

  • Exposure to technology may encourage shallower processing of information, what may lead to decreasing amounts of deep comprehension.
  • Many digital readers have developed a new reading style, called “word-spotting.” They use an “F-or-Z pattern” – they sample the first line then word-spot the rest.
  • Reading digitally decreases the production of melatonin.
  • Scrolling requires to consciously focus on both the text and how to navigate it. As a result, it drains more mental resources than turning a page.
  • The nonlinearity of digital media leads to skimming which reduces time allocated to deep reading processes.
  • Displays of electronic devices interfere with intuitive navigation of a text and inhibit people from mapping the journey in their minds.

Click or tap the infographic to see it enlarged.

Reading in the 21st century - full infographic

Via Information is Beautiful Awards.

We’ve got a huge archive of infographics and visuals about books and reading. Make sure to see the last ones:

Most popular children’s books around the world (infographics)
– August 17, 2021

50th anniversary of ebooks – facts, benefits, timeline (infographic)
– June 26, 2021

How to learn a language based on four common skills (infographic)
– May 31, 2021

15 most helpful writing lessons from successful authors
– May 1, 2021

20 most commonly used languages of the web (infographic)
– April 16, 2021