Reading traditional books still offers the most benefits compared to digital options

Published: Oct. 9, 2019 at 5:57 PM CDT
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According to statistics, reading a printed book is still the most popular form of reading, but why should people read a traditional book when they have digital resources as close as your pocket?

Jamie Toennies is the Executive Director for United Way in Rapid City.

"It's really important to have a physical book that you're reading with, even young kids before they even learn to read, just handling the books, learning how to turn the pages and getting that tactile opportunity," said Toennies.

Experts say the benefits of reading go beyond just entertainment, and when practiced throughout a lifetime, many skills can be learned.

Rebecca Kallahan and Emily Ells are mothers in Rapid City.

"We make reading books a priority in our family, and I have noticed, especially with our 7-year-old that her creativity has just sparked. She has even got to a place where she likes to write her own books, so she'll staple a bunch of paper together and illustrate and write her own books," said Kallahan.

"I think it's important to read physical books because kids needs less screen time, and I think it invites you to sit together and hold this physical book and have bonding time together," said Ells.

Samantha Zimmer from Rapid City Eye Care said physical books are easier on the eyes.

"Not only do they tend to hold things back father with a physical book, when you're on a phone your'e holding it here and that leads to accommodation issues. We're seeing younger kids become more myopic or nearsighted at a younger age," said Zimmer.

Experts also say reading without a digital screen can help you fall asleep better. Zimmer from Rapid City Eye Care also said for every 20 minutes on screen time, there should be a 20 second break, looking 20 feet away.