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As I shuffle through the pages of a classic like “Lord of the Rings,” by J.R.R. Tolkien, the smell of the old pages and ink fill my nose. Nostalgia fills my heart as I’m reminded of growing up, with my mom reading entire series to the family in the living room. 

If I’m being honest, I did not like reading books as a child. I would cry and fight and have full on breakdowns when my mom would make me read. Unsurprisingly, this was because of my Attention Deficit Disorder. As I got older, however, I came to truly enjoy reading. 

It started in middle school with “Harry Potter,” by J.K. Rowling, and then progressed into books of all kinds of books that I would go on to read. I miss the joy of starting a 500 page book on a Friday to have it read by that Sunday. There’s just something about flipping through the pages and making my mark on a book, showing it was loved. 

As technology advances, though, it’s becoming commonplace for people to use eBooks. Really, this is a great accomplishment. Not only does this help small authors in getting published, but it also makes reading more accessible. 

This, however, puts physical books in jeopardy. Print media is a dying art, but it’s something we must preserve. There has to be a balance between print and online. And though I understand the value in eBooks, personally, I prefer physical copies. 

Setting aside my personal beliefs, there’s also scientific research to back up why reading a physical copy is better than reading online. Research suggests that readers retain more information when reading the physical copy of a book, according to a 2005 study done by Ziming Liu. This same study found that 83% of participants are spending more and more time devoted to reading electronically. 

Everyone has their own goals for reading. Some read for joy, others out of necessity. Whether it’s reading for comprehension or joy, I absolutely prefer physical copies. It allows me to really connect with the characters and story. If it’s reading for coursework, I prefer online, as it allows me to listen to audio and also search for specific terms. 

Though physical books are not for everyone, I encourage you to pick one up the next time you visit your local bookstore.

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