19.06.2024 / Frank Baier

Read more printed books!

Especially for children in school, reading books in printed form results in a higher level of education than reading books in digital form.
According to new international research in education, reading printed matter better supports deeper reading. In response to the results of the 2022 PISA study, Intergraf made a statement emphasizing the great importance of keeping printed materials in the classroom. A closer look at the OECD countries yields some alarming data, with 26% of pupils there currently being classified as having weak reading skills. In addition, reading skills in this economic area have declined by 10%. Then again, pupils were also reading less even before the coronavirus pandemic. While most countries in Europe are around the OECD average, Switzerland is significantly above average, and reading in Germany has declined rapidly.
Better reading with printed books
According to the study, modest use of digital devices is associated with better learning outcomes, while excessive use or misuse is sooner associated with poor educational outcomes. Furthermore, digital environments are less suited to encouraging a deep understanding, while reading on paper offers greater advantages in situations where greater attention is required. Clearly 45% of pupils feel afraid without their digital devices, which affects life balance and stress resistance. Prof. Anne Manger of the faculty of art and education at Stavanger University in Norway sees a clear relationship between reading longer, linear text in print and better reading skills as compared to reading on screens. Reading on screens sooner results in quick, superficial information processing, while reading in print supports deep reading better, especially for longer and more complex texts.
Intergraf emphatically supports Sweden's latest education initiative to shift the focus in education from digital devices to printed matter. Because they provide clear advantages with regard to concentration, understanding, retaining information, and developing more advanced reading skills, print books must be recognized as an integral and therefore permanent component of school education.
The problem of education in Germany
Meanwhile, one-quarter of 15-year-olds in Germany have reading deficits; the result goes hand-in-hand with the 2023 IGLU study (international elementary school reading study), according to which one-quarter of children cannot read and understand the content of texts upon graduation from elementary school. Peter Kraus vom Cleff, Managing Director of the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels: “Anyone who can’t read is also not in a position to solve a word problem in math or document a scientific experiment. So that people have access to social and economic participation, we need to effectively encourage reading from a young age. Reading skills are not just critical for individual lives, but for our entire democracy.”
Currently, the Börsenverein is engaged in many projects to improve reading skills. As part of the “national reading pact”, an initiative of the Börsenverein and Stiftung Lesen with more than 180 partners, a model of systematic, nationwide language, reading, and literacy promotion is under development. Furthermore, the association is supporting an initiative to convene a national education summit.
Frank Baier
Editor-in-chief bindereport

19.06.2024 Frank Baier Editor-in-Chief «Bindereport»
19.06.2024 Frank Baier Editor-in-Chief «Bindereport»