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Reading Books Instead of Kindles Can Improve Your Memory, Concentration and Good Looks

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Old fashioned books have picked up a lot of haters in recent years. 

Environmentalists have decried them as "dead tree" mediums, while average readers often complain they can be weighty, cumbersome and don't travel well. Some have argued it's time to retire the 15th century technology and embrace Kindles and other electronic reading devices. 

Science, however, offers another view. According to numerous studies and expert opinion, reading physical books can improve memory, concentration and may even make you physically more attractive.


According to at least one study, conducted by researchers at Stavanger University in Norway, people who read actual books are significantly better at remembering what they read as opposed to people who read books on a Kindle and other e-readers.


Others have argued e-reading has reduced our ability to understand and concentrate on the text in front of us. The hypothesis was backed up by a survey conducted by Naomi Baron, author of Words Onscreen: The Fate of Reading in a Digital World and executive director for American University's Center for Teaching, Research and Learning. Baron told Mic, after speaking with 400 students between the ages of 18 and 26 in the United States, Germany, Japan, India and Slovakia, the results were irrefutable.

Reading is sexy and makes you a more empathetic person. 

There are few things as sexy as reading an old fashioned book. Other studies meanwhile have shown people who read physical books were more empathetic, and those who read an unpleasant story on an iPad were less moved than those who read it on an old fashioned paper book. 

So don't burn the books just yet. The good news is that despite the alluring convenience and cost of electronic reading devices, books have held their ground. Since a highpoint in 2012, e-reader sales fell off sharply. In 2014, publishers Penguin Random House and Simon and Schuster bled 8.8% of total profits largely due to disappointing sales in readers. Sales for Barnes and Noble's Nook reader also slumped that same year.

"It's a more personal connection when I read a book over the electronic," Angela Groth, the director of the Ardsley, New York Public Library, told Mic, adding grim predictions of shuttered libraries were completely off mark. "Physical books are more popular than electronics.


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