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Support for longhand writing and reading print publications instead of electronic screens can be found in a recent issue of Fast Company magazine. An article entitled, “This is How the Way You Read Impacts Your Memory and Productivity,” cites studies showing that taking notes by hand helps a person remember content better than if your notes are typed into a smart phone or laptop.

Similarly, when a Norwegian researcher asked people to read a mystery story on a Kindle or in print, the participants who read the paper version had better recall on questions related to time and chronology. People who read on paper also did a better job of sorting events in the story into the correct order than the screen readers.

What’s the problem with the blue light devices? Another study suggested people think they are better at understanding information when they read it on a screen. As a result, they read the text faster than they would have if they were turning paper pages, and performed more poorly in terms of recall.

People who prefer to consume their books digitally can compensate for the “metacomprehension deficit” by taking a deep breath and reading more slowly.

As printed in The Marketplace - Jan/Feb 2018