Print Books: A Physical Respite from Screens

Respite for EyesSure, I read my share of ebooks. I even publish digital versions of my own books, for ebook readers’ pleasure.

I hear a lot about the pros and cons of all book formats, but while I hear much about the ease and convenience of ebooks, I don’t hear as much about a key physical factor: one’s eyesight. That is, I hear people talk about adjusting e-reader font sizes and brightness, and of course I adjust the brightness and zoom to best fit my comfort when I’m reading digital books. However, even with the adjusted font size and light, I’m still staring at a screen, which isn’t the best thing for my eyes.

I stare at screens for work. I stare at screens to watch films. Cell phones have given us yet more screens to look at throughout the day. So, when it comes time to relax with a book, I don’t necessarily want to spend that time looking at another screen.

I recently read an article pointing out several reasons why people can feel free to love their e-readers, and though I agreed with most of the reasons, the third one took me off guard, as it indicated that being able to read e-readers in the dark, without having to turn on another light or a lamp, was a benefit. My thought was, “Wouldn’t that damage your eyes, though?”

Oh, I’m not an eye doctor or an expert on the effect of computer screens on one’s vision. Yet, the respite and comfort I find in reading books in print is something my eyes tend to thank me for after a long day, and they may generally thank me in the long run, when they aren’t so young anymore. 😉



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