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Print vs. Digital: 6 Resources to Start Exploring

Print vs. Digital: 6 Resources to Start Exploring

I am a reader. I view reading as one of my main sources of learning. If I want to understand something on a deeper level, I turn to books. I read for pleasure, for work, and to gain knowledge. I also try to be fairly observant of my reading life, what reading habits do I need to sustain my reading, how do I read, when do I read. 


The Differences

So that made me wonder, why despite an effort to read digitally, do I gravitate back to printed material? I own an e-reader, which I love for convenience, and the simple fact that I can load it up with books and carry it around with me. However, I also noticed, when I tried to read professional books or lengthy articles, I just wasn’t satisfied. 


I recently had a conversation about a professional book I read digitally on my e-reader and was so frustrated because I couldn’t reference the text with ease. If you take a look at most things I read, you’ll see notes on the sides, things underlined, question marks, and all sorts of other markings. Even with highlighting, note taking, and other digital features, it just doesn’t seem to replace paper and pen. 


words on a book page up close

That created a level of curiosity that made me wonder, do we read physically printed materials differently than those that are digital? What is the impact of digital reading? No big surprise here, I started looking for things to read about digital vs. print. I wanted to know what I could find out about the differences. 


Since digital reading is a fairly new phenomenon, recent to the human experience, the research is in the early stages. So for this blog, I’m going to share some go to resources that you might want to look at if you too are curious about digital vs. print and the impact it has on readers. These resources are listed in no particular order and are intended to get you started on your own learning journey. 


As you start learning more about digital and print reading, reach out, I’d love to hear about what you’re discovering while learning!



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Season 4, Episode 4. Learning to Read Digitally vs. in Print: Dr. Lauren Trakhman & Dr. Patricia Alexander



Digital reading book

Digital Reading What’s Essential in Grades 3-8 by Wiliam L Bass II and Franki Sibberson





Reader come home book






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Literacy expert Timothy Shanahan weighs in on print vs. digital comprehension.




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The author, Naomi S. Baron is the Professor of Linguistics Emerita, American University, and studies digital vs. print reading.


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If you are looking for published research, this is a place to start.



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