Thursday, June 19, 2008

New Reading?

Two articles seen recently discuss the possibly new nature of reading nowadays. In the Sunday Times, Andrew Sullivan looks at how 'Google is giving us pond-skater minds' :

The experience of reading only one good book for a while, and allowing its themes to resonate in the mind, is what we risk losing. When I was younger I would carry a single book around with me for days, letting its ideas splash around in my head, not forming an instant judgment (for or against) but allowing the book to sit for a while, as the rest of the world had its say – the countryside or pavement, the crowd or train carriage, the armchair or lunch counter. Sometimes, human beings need time to think things through, to allow themselves to entertain a thought before committing to it.

The white noise of the ever-faster information highway may, one fears, be preventing this. The still, small voice of calm that refreshes a civilisation may be in the process of being snuffed out by myriad distractions.

And on Slate, Michael Aggar looks at the way people read online - bullet points, bold fonts, short sentences and paragraphs, lists ...
  • When we like a text, we read more slowly.
  • When we're really engaged in a text, it's like being in an effortless trance.
  • Ludic (pleasure) reading can be achieved on the Web, but the environment works against you.

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