Spotlight: Print or online

Do people prefer reading print or online? Young people are now much more likely to prefer to read on a computer screen rather than a printed book or magazine.
Although mobile phones and tablet devices are now popular, many young and old people still prefer reading in print.
According to researchers, reading a printed book is completely different than reading online.
“You will memorise more through reading a book, since your brain connects the information to their position within the book and the page. There are few distractions when reading a book compared to online,” Nasra al Oufi, a librarian at a school in Al Amerat, said.
However, she elaborated, “We face a challenge on how to persuade and attract students to read, either electronic copies or printed ones. I believe this generation doesn’t read enough.”
According to her, there are some initiatives started by teachers like “Book chino” that combines reading and having a cup of tea. Another similar initiative is launched in North Al Batinah.
To youngsters who have no interest in visiting libraries and book fairs, the Internet is a wide horizon and easily accessible.
Nasser al Harrasi, a content maker, says, “I don’t have to read a book anymore. I listen to the book being read to me by using the podcasts or other apps. To be honest, as far as I remember, I completed reading three books only my whole life. Most of the times, I read a book and then I get bored. I think the podcasts are helpful, especially when driving.”
On the other hand, Abeer al Hadhrami, a lecturer in the Modern College of Business and Science, prefers the printed books. “I love the smell of books. I love highlighting phrases that I like. I have a bookshelf full of books because I want my daughters to know the meaning of reading and books. My mother always used to buy books to help us with reading habit. During evening hours, we as a family shared whatever we read. It used to be in my native language Tamil because of which we have deep roots. Once the habit of reading is cultivated, one forgets everything as books become our best companion.”
We encourage our nursery kids to read and exchange story books fortnightly. Technology has become tricknology and reading habits are reducing. Children should be encouraged to read more books and share the knowledge and we can even award them to motivate them, says Chithra Narayan, Director of Middle East Nursery.
It is becoming worse as libraries failed to cover expenses of rent, Badriya al Ghafri, a translator, lamented. “My sister opened a library a year ago. She had to cancel the project when she saw that there was no turnout to read or buy books.”