Reading vs. E-Reading

Yesterday, while enjoying my weekly sojourn into the happy environs of Woman’s World Magazine, I came across a fun tid-bit on reading.  Before jumping into that, I’d like to make a little plug for Woman’s World.

Picture of Woman's World Magazine

Fun, uplifting weekly read.

My sister introduced me to the publication a few years ago, and while I don’t read it either for the weight loss miracles splashed on the front cover, or for the gooey, yummy, sure to create 3,000 calorie recipes consistently taking up seven to eight pages inside, I find myself smiling more and feeling positive after reading through.  Most articles are very short, and packed full of happy-talk.  There’s a new issue every week, and I appreciate that in this world of constant reduction in creative writing opportunities, Women’s World still produces a short mystery and romance story every week.  How cool is that?

Anyway, in an article entitled, Your Hands Hold the Key to Less Stress, Better Brainpower, and More Happiness, author Maria Lissandrello, had this to say about reading a book:

“In a recent study, people who read a book on an e-reader had much more difficulty remembering plot points than those who read the same story on paper.  Researchers say that simply turning the pages and watching “the pile of pages growing on the left and shrinking on the right” helps sharpen your focus as you eagerly anticipate getting to the end of the novel.

Boost the benefit . . . by reading a mystery!  Reading a mystery delivers big brain benefits, enhancing your memory as you recall clues while trying to solve what whodunit!”

This seems plausible to me.  I remember when email was still new.  I printed out several of my messages because my eyes seemed to “hurt” while trying to read the screen in those olden days.  I also seemed to miss a lot of the message in the effort.  Several of my friends at the time expressed feeling the same way.

Image of E-reader vs. Trad. Book Format

Which do you prefer?

Today, with better screen resolution, and a couple of decades’ experience, I don’t print so many missives and don’t complain about the headachy feel to reading on-screen. But I do notice more of a “dyslexic” feel to my reading.  It’s easier to skim over words and mis-read them or not see them at all.

I read both on an e-reader (iPad), and in the traditional form.  Have to admit there is something more substantial feeling about reading a book. I love the smell of the ink on the page, the sound of chapters turning over under my fingers, and the satisfaction of flipping back and forth and all around (especially in books with several sub-heads and graphics).  You just don’t get that full reading experience on a tablet.

YET, e-readers are terrific too.  If you’re reading in bed, you can turn out the lights and still read.  If the text starts to blur late at night, you can change the size and keep on going.  If you’re comfortable laying and reading on one side, you don’t need to roll over as you try to read the other side of the page.

Retention?  Hmm.  When I was young, I could “picture” words and facts from the reading I did, so that while I didn’t ever finish my professors’ reading recommendations, that which I did consume stayed in my head at test time.

Today, as I look things up more and more on-line, I find I have to read them three, four, or more times before something sticks. I thought I was just getting old (well, that I am), and my brain was fading (no blue-hair jokes please). Maybe this lack of sharpness has something to do with the idea that I’m not as physically involved in reading with electronic reads.  At least that will be my excuse for today.

What do you think?  Is e-reading hurting or supporting a good reading experience in your life?

Wishing you a great week.  I’m off to go find a nice, printed-on-paper book.


Writer’s Market — A Good Read

Thank you everyone who posted get well wishes.  With my new format, I’m not automatically sent an email to let me know you posted anything.  Will have to check my settings for sure.

Meanwhile, I’d like to share some of the reading done while recuperating.  Yes, I dipped into a few stories because there’s nothing like a visit to other times and places when you don’t want to be where you are at the moment.  But I also took a good dive into my latest Writer’s Market edition.

To be honest, I will never make enough money to pay off the many volumes of this book I’ve purchased over the years.  Even when the books were so expensive I had to save for months to get them, I “invested” in these lists of publishers, magazines, and thoughts of “what freelancers should charge” for their work.  It was a regular accompaniment to my magazine subscription.

Picture of Writer's Market 2015

Information and Inspiration–a writer’s best companions.

Writer’s Market and Writer’s Digest magazine have been good friends for me since my early twenties.  I’ve read success stories and how-to’s, I’ve managed personal marketing and built career plans.  But mostly, Writer’s Market and the annual list of freelance writing opportunities have allowed me the most important element of being human–they have helped me dream.

Each time I flip to a section of magazines I’m interested in, there are great ideas that pop out at me.  Here’s one I liked:

Kaleidoscope — This magazine was listed under the subject of “Disabilities” (note: not under “Differently Abled”).  The magazine is 75% freelance written. Okay, that gets the hope up right there.  They want nonfiction, fiction, and poetry–a rarity in today’s publishing marketplace.  And they pay for work with real cash (not complimentary author copies).  That is so good!  The best part of an entry like this is the TIPS.  Not every magazine listed will have this, but the editor of Kaleidoscope was thoughtful and generous enough to do that.  She wants “thought-provoking subject matter, and in general, a mature grasp of the art of story-telling.  Writers should avoid using offensive language and always put the person before the disability.”

So what would I write about, given this little bit of information?  I keyed in on the final phrase and here are some ideas:

  • Getting Into Life’s Game — too many people with physical or mental challenges are left out of the game of life, but I know there are those who jump in no matter what.  I could tell stories of people who enter dance competitions, join sports teams, and generally make the most of the lives they have–even with their challenges.
  • Advocacy for the disabled in today’s world.  I could explore how children’s educational and physical needs are being met, and find out the best ways to support a full lifestyle for everyone.
  • Profile of organizations in Colorado that support people with physical, emotional, and  mental challenges.  There are a few near me, and I’d be excited to know more about them.

And that’s the real key.  Writer’s Market is full of opportunity IF you have a passion for the subjects they reveal.

And Writer’s Market is only the first step.  Next I’ll need to do an in-depth visit to the Kaleidoscope website, acquire a copy of the publication, review the advertisers, look for the media kit and generally dig in to see if I fit this community.  All this may take about an hour of work.  But before I do that work, I’ll think of all the stories I could write…everything begins with a dream and a vision.  Hoping your visions take you where you want to go this week.