A stunning figure, you can find in a new book by professor Naomi Baron, a professor of linguistics at American University, Words Onscreen: The Fate of Reading in a Digital World. 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 media—including hard copy, cell phone, tablet, e-reader, and laptop—92 percent said they could concentrate best in hard copy.
She was interviewed for the New Republic in which she explains why:
There are two big issues. The first was they say they get distracted, pulled away to other things. The second had to do with eye strain and headaches and physical discomfort.