The report of my death was an exaggeration

Mark Twain writing

Evidence continues to mount that print and paper have benefits for how we buy and even how our children learn. Here are four relevant dispatches with links to more details.

94% of students say it’s easier to concentrate when reading from paper
Because there are fewer distractions when reading on paper, compared to reading on a device.1
E-book sales slip
Analysts predicted e-books would overtake printed books by 2015. Instead digital book sales slowed. E-book sales declined 10% in early 2015, Netflix-like e-book subscription services struggled, and the number of independent bookstores grew.2
Students learn better when working on paper versus keyboards

Students taking notes by hand learn better than those using laptops. Note taking by hand is slower, forcing students to organize material as they listen, leading to better comprehension of key points.

Among kindergarteners learning the alphabet and older students writing essays, those working on paper learn faster, read better and express more ideas than those working on computers. Brain scans – including those of kindergarteners learning the alphabet – show working by hand engages more of the brain’s centers for language, thinking and memory.3

Direct mail outperforms digital marketing in major neuromarketing study

In a controlled study that has a strong message for marketers, neuromarketing researchers using brain-imaging tools and eye-tracking tests found that direct mail more effectively promoted buying responses because it is easier to understand and more persuasive than both digital email and display marketing.

“Neuromarketing” applies brain-imaging tools to the study of marketing stimuli. This study used electroencephalography and eye-tracking tests to make measurements.4

Interesting observations about the state of print.

We can only wonder though, if Mark Twain had written his famous quote on a laptop instead of pen and paper – would he still agree?

  4. A Bias for Action Canada Post Corporation, July 31 2015

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