If you imagine millennials are just young people entranced by their cellphones or tablet computers, you might want to think again. According to a new study, 92% of college students would rather do their reading the old-fashioned way, with pages and not pixels.
The finding comes from American University linguistics professor Naomi S. Baron, author of the book "Words Onscreen: The Fate of Reading in a Digital World." Baron led a team that asked 300 college students in the United States, Slovakia, Japan and Germany how they preferred to read.
Physical books were the choice of 92% of the respondents, who selected paper over an array of electronic devices.
Steven Hernandez, a student at
The main reasons students preferred paper books, Baron told the New Republic, were the lack of distractions that are available on computers, as well as the headaches and eye strain that can result from staring at a screen.
"When I asked what they don't like about reading on a screen — they like to know how far they've gone in the book," Baron said. "You can read at the bottom of the screen what percent you've finished, but it's a totally different feel to know you've read an inch worth and you have another inch and a half to go."
And then there are the aspects of the reading experience that computers just can't replicate (yet) -- Slovakian students in particular noted that they liked the smell of books.