Readers retain less info from ebooks?

Found this comment on a Boing Boing thread interesting. The original post itself (well, the poster it references) is stupid, but it inspired some interesting comments.

Studies have shown that students who used ebooks and ereaders retained a lot less information than those who used print books (I work in an academic library at a university that took part in the study). Ebooks eliminate the tactile part of sense memory. That is, where you saw the text on a page, and how far into the book it was, and if there were diagrams or illustrations or figures on the page or opposite page all plays a huge part in how you recall information. That all becomes fluid and relative in ebooks. While ebooks might be convenient for carrying around large books, you lose all relationship to them. It all becomes just a stream of words on a screen.

I’ve definitely noticed this as a general feeling. I enjoy my Kindle, but I do feel a bit adrift on the sea of “words on a screen”. I do miss the direct spatial sense of where I am on the page and the tactile sense of where I am in the book.

Oscars Party Menu

Anisette Bening

Ruffles have Bridges
Mark Ruffleos
Darren Pretzelnofskies
Crispian Kale

Jesse Eisenberg Lettuce Salad with Shaved Jeremy Fennel and Javier Bacon Lardons

The King’s Beets, Geoffrey Russian Style

Natalie Porkmans
James Franc’n’beans
Roasted David O. Brussels Sprouts
Joel and Ethan Coen on the Cob, with Salt

The Cakes are All White
Nicole King Dons
Selections from our Helena Bonbon Cart
Lady Finchers

Nora phrases

Nora’s saying way too much stuff to try and track it all any more, but here are some of her phrases.

Nona dood it! or Nona! or self!, all various ways of saying “I want to do it, not you” and often accompanied by crabs. And yes, she calls herself “Nona” and she says “dood” for “do”, which we all do now. E actually told someone at work “no, YOU dood it” when asked to do something one day.

Get out and get up. Get out is what she says in the morning when she wants out of her crib, but also one of her ways of saying she’s tired of being inside and wants to go on an outing. Also, outside! shoes on! Get out also means “get out of my chair I want to read books” (often preceded by self!). Get up is for when you’re comfortable sitting or lying down and Nora wants to go outside.

Peas (please). Rarely offered without prompting, but if she makes a demand and you say “what do you say?” or “what’s the magic word?” she’ll happily repeat the demand with peas on the end.

Beep-beep slide. Specifically refers to playing with her cars where she rolls them down a ramp (or has you dood it), but it’s usually the first thing she says once she’s out of the crib and wants to play in general.

Butt-butt. Exactly what it sounds like. Butts are funny.

Big bite. “I don’t want my food in little pieces, I want a big piece I can gnaw on.” Watching a toddler voraciously eat an entire peach is hilarious.

Come with me, which she says when she wants to come with you.

Busty out! When she wants to be busted out of her high chair or booster seat. Also Dumpy out!, when she dumps all her toys out of her toy box. She likes to narrate what she’s doing as she does it.

Nora language facts

– Her word for glasses is “dadas”, because daddy wears glasses
– If you point at a picture of a bird and say “what is this?” she says “birdie”. If you point at two birds and say “what are these?” she says “birdies”. or more like “birdie.. sss”. She also sometimes says “two!” when she has two of something.
– Her words for cat include cat, kittycat, kitcat, meow meow, and baba
– She’s started saying please (“peas”) and asking for help (“hep”)
– She loves cars (“beep beeps”) and talks about them all the time. she also knows about “bus”
– She also loves furniture, all of which is known as “chair”
– She’s started saying “fish” and “sushi”
– She sometimes calls herself “Nona” (or says it when we say “Nora” at least)
– When she wants to open a container she says “pop” because mommy likes to “pop the top”

Words Nora Says

apple (“bapple”), baba (her name for our cats), baby, ball, balloon, beads (“bee”), bear, beaver, beebo (bellybutton; it’s from a book), berry (also “bee”), boob (“boo”), bottle (“bobble”), bye, cat (“tat”), cracker, dada, diaper, dirty, doggy (“doddy”), door, foot, feet (they mean the same), giraffe (“faf”), hair, happy (“bappy”), hat, hi, hot (a lot like hat), kittycat (“tittytat”), meow meow, mommy, night night (“nigh-nigh”), no, noni (what she calls her little lion blanket), pear, water.

I know I’m forgetting some. she also recognizes some words (like dance, hidey hole, or book) that she can’t say. sometimes she’ll use a word if you teach it to her but won’t necessarily keep using it.

Nora Words

A new word for Nora is “uh-oh” which, to her, means “I just deliberately threw this thing on the floor”. E is trying to teach her that you can’t say uh-oh when it’s on purpose, but to little effect. Nora also likes to signify she is done eating by throwing things onto the floor. She will throw one thing, and if you don’t get the message she will look at you while deliberately throwing another thing, and another, and another. This is infuriating. It’s cute when she says “uh-oh” while doing it though. Sort of.

She’s been saying “night night” (pronounced “nigh-nigh”) more too, when she’s ready to go to sleep. I wasn’t sure she really knew what it meant, but she has a few times now said it and then gone to sleep pretty readily (usually there’s a few minutes of crying), so maybe she does.

She hasn’t been saying “bear” that much but the stuffed beaver has become her favorite toy (arguably her favorite person) and she now says “beaver” (pronounced “bee-ber”) fairly often. Sort of like she starts chanting “mommy” or “daddy” when one of us isn’t there, she will start chanting “beaver”, like in the car. “kittycat” has become “cat” (pronounced “tat”) and she will often say it when they come into the room or while pointing at them. Funny, she points herself but usually doesn’t understand when we do it — she just looks at our fingers.

I forgot a big word she understands: dance. She likes to dance to music a lot, and if you ask her to “do her dance” she’s almost guaranteed to do it.

Nora Words

“Hi” is definitely her favorite word right now. She says it when she wakes up, she says it when we come home, to people in stores, and just randomly. Maybe the best though is that she says it to her stuffed animals. She’s only really just noticed them, and she will say HI and then crawl over and give them a hug. Her favorites are beaver and polar bear, and she also just started saying “beaver” and “bear” yesterday. She’s also started on “butterfly” – several of her favorite books have butterflies in them, and E just hung a butterfly mobile from her ceiling. Oh, and “kittycat” has made a big return this week.

Nora Words

A while ago, Nora came out with “kittycat” but she only said it for a week or so and then returned to her cat shriek and a few of her non-english words (mostly “abu” which she’s mostly stopped saying; guess we’ll never know what it meant). In the last couple of weeks though she’s started building up a vocabulary.

Stuff she says:
– mommy (or mama). I think this was her first after kittycat. mommy is mostly associated with E, though sometimes it’s a little random. the cutest thing is if I’m with her and E is in another room, nora will keep saying mommy.
– daddy (or dada). same with mommy, it’s mostly about me but sometimes a little random.
– baby (or babby or beebee). she doesn’t seem to be able to make the sounds in nora, but she’s saying baby a lot.
– hi. she actually does say this sometimes when you come into the house or into the room.
– night-night (really more ni-ni). this is the newest.

Stuff she understands:
– all done. this usually involves a sort of jazz-hands thing on our part and a head shake (not sure why the hand shake is all done) on nora’s part, and always happens at the end of meals.
– up. if you say up, she’ll make the up gesture (basically raise the roof) and then you have to pick her up.
– book. she’ll go to her book shelf and start pulling things out and throwing them on the floor.
– hug. if you’re lucky she’ll give you a hug, where she takes a 3-second break from her constant activity to lean her head on you and maybe pat you on the shoulder.


Robert Vaughn, Bullitt (1968): “In your parlance, you blew it.”
Christopher Lee, The Wicker Man (1973): “He’s dead. Can’t complain, had his chance and, in modern parlance, blew it.”

Nora Words Update

Well, though Nora was saying “kittycat” she only did it for a few days. Her word for the cats now seems to be “ba” or just her high-pitched screech. She’s started saying a new word though that we can’t figure out: “abu”. It doesn’t just sound like babbling because she says it pretty distinctly and it seems directed at things, but we can’t figure out what it means. If you say it to her she will often repeat it back though.