International Book Giving Day – 14th February 2019

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From the ability to engage children with interactive learning, to bringing a world of knowledge to their fingertips in seconds, there is no doubt that bringing the latest technology  into the classroom using tablets is invaluable in the current age. But this International Book Giving Day we want to remember the benefits our good old-fashioned books continue to provide alongside this.

The actual feel of a book and experience of reading one is more important than we might think – we can all remember having a bedtime story read to us; an experience which arguably might not have had the same enchantment had it had been from a mobile or tablet. Or perhaps the experience of sifting through a library of titles, hunting for something that sparked an interest. Even the feeling of how far through a story you are by the pages left in your hand is said to add to the cognitive experience.

Neuroscience has shown that reading printed text, as opposed to on screen text, uses a different part of our brain, and that reading printed text can enhance our ‘deep reading’ skills. Deep reading is the intentional act of reading slower and more thoughtfully with the purpose of increasing comprehension and enjoyment.

You have probably experienced this at one time or another, perhaps it was the first time you read Harry Potter, or a thriller you couldn’t put down. Getting immersed in a good book can cause you to lose all track of time, and occasionally drift back to the unfolding plot as you go about your day-to-day errands. The same can be true for books in the classroom and textbooks; with deep reading, our concentration and comprehension levels are at full capacity, making it easier for information to be absorbed fully and recalled later on.

Another beauty of reading printed text is the benefits to our physical health, with reading printed text said to have a positive impact on stress levels, our eye health (by managing screen time), and improved sleep quality. All of which are beneficial to students and teachers alike.

As Dr. Seuss once wrote, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” So, in conclusion, however you choose to do it, reading is always beneficial. It’s just that sometimes you cannot beat a good old-fashioned paper book.

Visit www.bookgivingday.com to read about International Book Giving Day and the ways you get involved.