May 26, 2022

New Republic Interviews Author of “Words Onscreen: The Fate of Reading in a Digital World”

We’ve posted numerous items in the past few years with quotes from students about their preferences for a print book vs. an ebook.

In most cases, it’s almost always a preference for print over ebooks especially when it comes to textbooks.

This is also the case with the findings published in the book discussed below.

From The New Republic:

With her new book, Words Onscreen: The Fate of Reading in a Digital World, Naomi Baron, a professor of linguistics at American University, brings more data to the case for print.  Baron and her colleagues surveyed over 300 university students in the U.S., Japan, Germany, and Slovakia, and found a near-universal preference for print, especially for serious reading. (She finds that the format doesn’t matter so much for “light reading.”) When students were given a choice of various mediaincluding hard copy, cell phone, tablet, e-reader, and laptop92 percent said they could concentrate best in hard copy.

“The group we assumed would gobble this up were teenagers and young adults,” says Baron. “But they talked about things I didn’t think 18 to 26-year-olds cared about anymore.”

Read an Interview with Naomi Barron

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.