Bookworms or Techworms? Who wins in the end?

Blast from the Past

Physical books have been around since the 4th century A.D. They’ve been a great necessity in the advancement of human life and he record of history. But now with the advancements of technology the way of physical books is starting to disappear. Everything is migrating toward the internet with tablets and Phones. From a young age books are a very important factor in our lives. From the moment we start schooling, the first thing kids are taught in school is how to read. When I was a child, we were given silly little picture books, no more than 5 pages long and taught to read the few simplistic sentences. Then with the dawn of the internet, there’s hundreds of apps and websites for teaching children how to read. To the people in my community, this symbolizes to us that kids will grow up with a lesser respect for physical books and the unique responsibility that comes with their upkeep.

As a kid, I grew up in the very beginning of the technological world. Anyone who had a phone in school either had a Motorola Razor. Then you were one of the cool kids. Even Nokia’s were still popular. But the most advanced thing I had, when technology where technology was concerned, was a system called Leapfrog, (released in 1994). It was a short book that hooked up to a large plastic base and the reader used a pen, and could tap on different things and the system would read it out to you. Then the second function had a dry erase pen, and it would ask you to write things in as it spoke. This was mind blowing to me at that age. Although, nothing compared to the pure delight of sitting down with a good “Goosebumps” novel or one of the many, “The Magic Tree House”. The sensation of getting lost in a different person’s life, even if they were fictional, is something I cherish to this day.

School Or Fool?

Schools have been really trying to partake in the tech in school’s era, starting with the implementation of Smart Boards. I remember in middle school, when we were still trying to get one in every class, and students were ecstatic. After we had them, I can remember staying after class, skipping lunch even, to show my teachers how to use equipment that they had already received training for, all so I would get to play with it too. Many gave up and used It as little as possible swearing by their original teaching method which I approve of. In a world where our lives are devoted to tech, this takes away from our ability to interact with one another. A skill that was very important when I was growing up. So if we have online books to read to us, and spell check to do the rest of our work, where does that leave us, when tech isn’t around?

So in the days of skimming for exams and information for papers, e-books seem like a great search and find right, wrong. In a European wide study, 50 participants were gathered to do a study on memory in reaction to e-books. 25 of the readers were given a 28-page story on kindles and the other 25 were given the same story but on print instead. What they discovered was, when testing on things like settings, characters and objects, the kindle readers had a much harder time remembering the details then print readers did. So, if we receive these kinds of results from such a short story, then what is that doing in school? It proves that teens that have to read entirely online for their classes are most likely not retaining everything they need to be.

Where do I sign?

I’ve actually heard a few people claim that e-books are considered as step back in human advancement, and I have to agree with this one. The copy right rules, where e-books are concerned, are absolutely insane. With print books, you basically own the book as a whole, to do what you want with it. No one can take it from you and in many situations you are even allowed to scan and copy said book. Although with places like amazon, even if you do “buy” it, you don’t technically own it. As if trying to prove this, in 2009 Amazon used a “back door” system to delete thousands of copies of one of George Orwell's books, because it was recalled for whatever reason. With a print book, no one can just take your book like that. SO, is it really a “technological advancement” if you can’t even own your own book on the piece of technology

Time to study!

In a study done by Harvard, they decided to examine the effects that e-books have on the body if you read a certain amount before going to bed. In said study they took 12 participants and in the span of 2 weeks had the small group read e-books for a specific amount of time before bed, then once the two weeks were up, they switched to print based books and performed the same task for the same amount of time. What they had discovered at the end of this trial, was that the light that comes off of the technological equipment can have some serious lasting effects on a person’s mind such as confusing the internal clock which leads to less sleep as well as feeling less rested. They also found that it has a large effect on the amount of Melatonin secreted in the brain. The blue light can drastically drop the levels of Melatonin that our brain secretes when we sleep.

Healthiness or Convenience?

Book enthusiasts or “bookworms” as we are often referred to, get a bad rap because of technology. Since kindles and e-books are such a growing industry. Print books are often referred to as “the way of the past” or somethings similarly ignorant. But the fact is, we bookworms have the fountain of youth already figured out. Reading a print book, is said to have significantly better health effects on the human mind and body then e-books. So why choose something that can seriously affect your health when you can escape the harsh reality of life, and curl up in a warm blanket with some tea and a print book and lose yourself in a story that gives you the necessary mental (and even physical) break all humans need sometimes.

In conclusion, I find the lack of books in schools and the increase of technology appalling. For the community of bookworms and even book hunters (those who scavenge ancient book shops for “gold” i.e. super rare books) it makes us seem like even bigger recluses and outcasts because we “aren’t with the times” or are “too” old fashioned. When in reality we are, technically, the smarter one because we aren’t putting our health at risk, for convinces sake. It can even make job hunting a lot harder because unless you want to be an English/literature teacher or a historian, reading that much won’t help as much in the real world because technology is becoming so huge. I believe we need to get rid of tablets in schools and bring back the books. Having physical copies is proven to help students learn more anyway. Also, it builds a certain kind of character to have to lug around a bunch of books as well as assisting in critical thinking to figure out the fastest way to not have to carry all your books at one time. We bookworms really do have the upper hand, when the overall health and benefits are involved.

Photo Essay

The reason I chose this community is because it’s one that is very near and dear to my heart. The bookworm community is given a pretty bad rap, under the table when in reality it should get a lot more love then anything. Inside the community its always adventurous and magical but outside we get picked on for being freaks and outcasts. Reading print books is actually pretty healthy though and one can have so much fun doing it to, unlike most other healthy activities. Even as I tried to write this my computer was constantly messing up which only heightened my stress levels and ended up making me sick.

Reflective Piece

Throughout the semester I was surprised at how much I learned from this class. I didn’t pay much attention to the objective list, so when I read it for this section of the project I was a little surprised. I learned a lot of the objects that were listed as well as a few other things. The biggest impact from the list would have been the importance of grammar and mechanics. I never paid much attention to how I wrote, as long as it sounded alright. Now, I understand just how important it is to look back on what I wrote and to make sure the grammar and spelling is important. Also would be the order of paragraphs. I usual would throw them together and not pay attention on whether or not it flowed but I’ve learned why that’s actually pretty important. Other things I’ve learned in this class would have to be that thoroughly researching something is important yes, but choosing a topic that you enjoy, or that really means something to you, is also very important. This class really made my final decision on whether or not I wanted to peruse a degree in English. I learned a lot of vital things in this class that would help me later in life if I obtained a job in editing or writing. I believe my abilities to find sources that pertain to my subject, even if it’s not directly stated, has improved as well. I was able to learn how to find sources that by themselves would make no sense with my topic, but once thrown into it that fit perfectly.

Lastly, I like to think my writing style has actually improved in this semester. I looked back on old papers I wrote and was surprised at how much I changed in style. My older papers were rawer, and even a little immature whereas now my topics never can focus 100% on one side of the story. All of my papers since I’ve taken this class have somewhat smoothly incorporated both sides of the store giving me an unbiased opinion on most things which I’m grateful for.

Annotated Bibliography

St. Peter, Elaine. "E-Readers Foil Good Night's Sleep." HMS. N.p., 4 Jan. 2015. Web. 15 Nov. 2016.

Harvard Conducted a study on how e-books affect the body, if used before bed. They discovered that it messes up the chemicals in the body and even suppresses some of the important ones. The study lasted around 2 weeks and included 12 participants. They read e-books for a specified amount of time before bed and then switched to print books and performed the same task but with the print books this time. They proved that the blue light coming from the technology messed with the sleep cycle, made it harder to fall asleep and even made them more tired in the morning. They even included a statement from a Ph.D holder that talked about the decline in sleep of people over the past 50 years and how t seeped directly correlated with technology. Meaning that in all, printed books were proven to be a healthier choice when trying to find something to read before bed.

Noyes, Katherine. "Why E-Books Are Bad for You." PCWorld. PCWorld, 09 June 2011. Web. 29 Nov. 2016.

A study was conducted to show how e-books were a step backwards in advancements. In an article titled “The danger of E-Books” he explains this further. It speaks about how the copyright process is more complicated. With a physical book, once you hand over the money, it’s yours to do whatever you want, be I write in it, dog tag, rip out pages, and some laws even allow scanning and copying. With e-books you can do none of the above. As well as if a company decides the book needs recalled for whatever reason, most places like Amazon can just delete it from your library and may not even refund you. Stallman later suggests that we should “reject e-books until they respect out freedom” and then goes on to suggest other ways to support our authors like doubling some of the taxes given to the authors, or make a process where the reader could donate to the author

Harven, Michelle. "Top 5 Problems with Technology in Education Today." EdTech Times. N.p., 02 Nov. 2015. Web. 29 Nov. 2016.

Edtechtimes made a top 5 list about the issues with technology in today’s education. The 5th explaining that it’s a “Crutch”. It explains that some think critical thinking is dying and how spelling isn’t tested much anymore because of spell check. It references how because everything is googled, so students are “copying and pasting their knowledge” The 4th is “The crash” and how excuses like “my dog ate my homework” has changed to “the computer crashed” and it does happen. It explains the struggle of “rookies” cursing the computers for stealing hours of work because of one human error or another. Then there is the problems of access and whether or not they can use the technology. The 3rd is called “The Old Timer” and talks about how some teachers don’t use the tech their given because they believe in the way they had already been doing it, and don’t want to change up. But then teachers don’t get proper teaching themselves on the tech and it isn’t used right. The 2nd is “The Facebook” and just talks about how easily kids get distracted by media and such when they have a computer in front of them and how it’s hard to get around, and the last “The Band-Aid”. This idea is explained that tech is supposed to be able to save our education and how it’s a double edged sword.

Flood, Alison. "Readers Absorb Less on Kindles than on Paper, Study Finds." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 19 Aug. 2014. Web. 29 Nov. 2016.

This article explains how e-book readers don’t seem to be able to retain as much as physical book readers. These studies were conducted with kindles as well and it was always the same result. The study was given to 50 readers, 25 read a 28-page story on kindle and the rest in paper-back, then tested on aspects of the story like objects, characters and settings. They also did a study on the emotional responses rom reading in the two ways. The results showed that readers with the actually paper could get immersed in the story whereas the kindle and e-book readers were rather detached. It was also shown that kindle readers were significantly worse at putting a plot in order (they were given 14 events). So it was suggested "the haptic and tactile feedback of a Kindle does not provide the same support for mental reconstruction of a story as a print pocket book does".

Bushak, Lecia. "Why We Should All Start Reading Paper Books Again." Medical Daily. IBT Media Inc, 12 Jan. 2015. Web. 29 Nov. 2016.

This source was a much more detailed list on not only the authors experiences with both forms of reading but also a list of 3 main issues e-books can cause. He begins by explaining how he felt better after reading a physical book, and the next morning he also found himself pondering the series he read. The 1st point, titled “You’re missing out on important information” tells about a study done on how readers reacted emotionally with tales, and how e-book readers couldn’t quite recall intense emotions or much of the plot after reading it. The 2nd point dually titled “E-books get in the way of sleepy time” explains how using technology before going to bed can mess with the chemicals in your brain. It tells how physical books take you away from the daily struggles and clears your mind which in turn is likely to make you sleepier. The 3rd and final point titled “Screens=Stress” talks about the mental effects of physical books vs e-books. It explains that technology late at night is a direct link to things like high stress levels, fatigue and sometimes even depression. It also mentions fractured focus and smaller attention spans.

Kalb, Guyonne R.j., and Jan C. Van Ours. "Reading to Young Children: A Head-Start in Life?" SSRN Electronic Journal SSRN Journal (n.d.): n. pag. Department of Education and Childhood Development. The Univeristy of Melbourn, 2012. Web. 2016.

The 6th source I used was a pdf done by The University of Melbourne on the connections reading has, between parents reading to children at a young ager and their children’s reading and cognitive skills at a later age. It even included a bulleted list on exactly was tested like reading skills, language skills, national assessment program, non-cognitive measures relating to physical and socio-emotional outcomes. This source uses a lot of charts and talks about how children’s cognation grows with them and how effective reading to a child at a very young age, is. The research proves that reading to your child at a young age is likely to affect them up to age 10-11 or maybe even older. The results also showed a “casual” effect on “important” things like test scores and general schooling outcomes. It later explains how parental involvement in the child’s education is a factor that will positively benefit them in the future.

Walker, Memet. “New Study Suggests Ebooks Could Negatively Affect How We Comprehend What We Read.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 17 Apr. 2014,

This source combines a few different studies on how having tech in the class room and do more harm than good. It goes I detail about how easily kids can get side tracked and how it takes valuable class time away because of things like dead batteries, not being able to find a charger, or not being able to access something. They also talk about how there is a different feeling when you have to physically open a book and find the page instead of just typing it in. Then there are the classes that need a more face-to-face approach that online books can’t help with. One talks about the issue of if you get bored with a book then you can easily switch to Facebook or other media. They only option they talk about in this article is if the e-book was self-contained, which in today’s world would be unlikely.

Baron, Naomi S. “Why Reading On A Screen Is Bad For Critical Thinking.” The Huffington Post,, 19 Apr. 2015,

In this source it starts with talking about the importance of reading in early Greek teaching and how helpful the basic lessens, like learning the alphabet, were. It then continues to talk about the importance of critical thinking and gives multiple different people’s opinions on how its defined. It then continues to talk about different curriculums and how technology seems to be shaping them. It later states that both teachers and students are wondering what effects technology truly has on how we critically think about things. With physical texts we try to scan it but still read it. With tech based books we just Ctrl+F it and don’t get any other context. In the end the studies done by the author stated (like the rest) that reading a physical book if much more beneficial to the reader then an e-book is. It also talks about deep reading towards the end and even our analysis skills.

Publications, Harvard Health. “Blue Light Has a Dark Side.” Harvard Health, USA , May 2012,

The last source on my list talks about the effects of Blue Light on the chemistry of our mind. It claims that these have a good effect on the brain during the day, enhancing reaction time and moods but after night falls, the article starts to explain how the light from the technology can mess with our internal clock. It also talks about the correlation between our internal clock and the secretion of melatonin. It even goes further to explain how the study, which was done by students at Harvard University, had compared different types of colored lights and explained how the blue light from phones affects us may more negatively. By the end of the article it neatly sums everything up with a short bullet list that explains things we could do to help counteract all the negative effects that blue light has on our body.

Book Source

Picture Citing,d.eWE&psig=AFQjCNFKt_S44-HM_6uono5v17yZ54mbzg&ust=1481079144577585,d.eWE&psig=AFQjCNFD5QBKR7QQYPAt3uhg0LIyOHTJCA&ust=1481335546901282,d.eWE&psig=AFQjCNEW4zjeQL_im9OHBWonpWGwU0Xt4w&ust=1481335832453114,d.eWE&psig=AFQjCNEW4zjeQL_im9OHBWonpWGwU0Xt4w&ust=1481335832453114,d.eWE&psig=AFQjCNEW4zjeQL_im9OHBWonpWGwU0Xt4w&ust=1481335832453114,d.eWE&psig=AFQjCNHLUzjsGBMt1RArfea4SYJpNs4zPQ&ust=1481336424969445,d.eWE&psig=AFQjCNEU9tEAjej7ntoy7JB_bCJ8Zot5Gg&ust=1481337369364857,d.eWE&psig=AFQjCNEU9tEAjej7ntoy7JB_bCJ8Zot5Gg&ust=1481337369364857,d.eWE&psig=AFQjCNEU9tEAjej7ntoy7JB_bCJ8Zot5Gg&ust=1481337369364857,d.eWE&psig=AFQjCNEU9tEAjej7ntoy7JB_bCJ8Zot5Gg&ust=1481337369364857,d.eWE&psig=AFQjCNG3fgboXStwi1fh5wHjRr_3dTk3GA&ust=1481337706954965,d.eWE&psig=AFQjCNG-giLA23jxlRT0diSFgIO-EEmKQg&ust=1481339445016915

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.