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A study released recently by Voxburner, a United Kingdom-based research firm that tracks
how youths consume media, suggests that over 60 percent of British teenagers and young adults
aged 16 to 24 prefer physical books over E-books when they were asked which media
they preferred in physical form. The feeling of a printed book, with its rough paper and thick
spine, is an absorbing and pleasurable experience — sometimes more so than reading on a device.
Some recent reports have found that this tactile feeling of paper can also create a much more
immersive learning experience for readers. Why? Several scientists believe it is neurological.
A research report published earlier this year in the International Journal of Education Research
found that students in school who read text on printed paper scored significantly higher in
reading comprehension tests than students who read the same text in digital forms. Furthermore,
according to an October report by the Book Industry Study Group, which monitors the
publishing industry, the sales of E-books have slowed over the past year and currently comprise
about 30 percent of all books sold.
There were two main reasons given for the preference for paper books over digital books.
First, many of those questioned said they liked to feel an actual printed book, versus a digital
experience where a screen can be flat and lacking imagination. The other reason given not to
buy digital books is the price. Many of the young British people questioned in the study seemed
unable to understand the high prices of E-books, which can range between $10 and $15, on average,
compared with paperback books, which can cost almost exactly the same, sometimes less.