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How well do you remember what you have read in an e-book compared to a p-book?

Posted 2 years ago.

7 Comments

  • Bufo Calvin - 2 years ago

    Thanks for writing, Patricia!

    Stopping and changing modalities (switching from reading to writing a summary) can be a very effective method. Some people also find it works well to pause and say out loud what they just learned.

  • Bufo Calvin - 2 years ago

    Thanks for writing, Christina!

    I certainly understand that positional memory aspect. I always remember my Significant Other asking if I knew where a previous year's taxes were, and me saying, "Sure. They are in the library, on top of the shelf under the window, second stack from the left, about two-thirds of the way up, next to something yellow." :)

    On the other hand, the search of an e-book is much easier for me than the search of a p-book. If I have to go back an verify something in a p-book (paperbook), I may have to literally flip through every page if I don't remember where it was.

    With an e-book, there are three main search methods:

    * An "entry search", where you type in the term

    * X-Ray, which is an Amazon thing. This works very well: it will show you where the significant occurrences of terms on the current page happen throughout the book

    * Book Extras, powered by Shelfari (owned by Amazon): these are reader-contributed items about a book, including character profiles

    Not every book has all of these, and not every device can show all of these. However, once you get used to using those resources which are available to you, I think you'll find it's a lot easier than using your positional memory with a p-book.

  • Patricia - 2 years ago

    If I want to retain something, it has to be from a traditional book. I read very fast from a traditional book and even faster from an ebook. If I am studying for a test, I pause occasionally, close the book and write notes about what I have read.

    In my mind there is a distinction between information I am planning to use {as, for example, a cook book} and something I am reading for fun {say, a mystery.}

  • Christina - 2 years ago

    One problem I have with an e-book is finding some small piece of information that relates to the section I'm reading. If it were a paperback, I'd know about how far I was into the book, if it was the right/left side of the book and rough location of what I am looking for. For example, let's say the introduction of an uncle and some key information which become relevant later in the book is on the right side, middle of the page 1/3 of the way through the book. I would remember general location and be able to find it. Now with an e-book, I can't find the information. There is no feel for the book and where it's at so I give up on looking for the information. That is probably the hardest thing about e-books for me.

    On the flip side, one benefit is the dictionary. Now, if I have a paperback, I find myself starting to put my finger on the hard copy and realize there is no dictionary built into a paperback like an e-book.

  • Bufo Calvin - 2 years ago

    Thanks for writing, miki and Debra!

    That's the general sense I'm getting...people find it harder to remember the authors with e-books. However, e-books, at least one point appeared to be more popular with people of "a certain age", as miki put it...which might just mean that it is that which is affecting it more than the medium of the e-book itself. However, my guess is that isn't the case...my guess is that it is harder for all ages.

  • Debra - 2 years ago

    I feel I remember about the same, for meanyway. I have a hard time wth names even with 'real people', but I DO know my favorite authors and some titles.THAT is why I like book descriptions. And now with the paperwhite f have the book covers if I want.

  • miki - 2 years ago

    l think l remember the contents about the same. It is the author's name and book name which l almost never remember. It is hard enough when l am my age ( just a woman of a certain age!) to remember my doctor's names. li is much more difficult when reading e-books that don't show the author's name/ book name each time you open the book. This is especially true with the self published books which don't always have sequels. Sort of sad.

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