The following is a recent comment on the website
April 28, 2021
One of the outcomes of our computer-based lives is that fewer people are doing sustained reading. In fact, many people who once were avid readers complain that they just don’t enjoy reading as much, get frustrated when they have to read closely for specific information, and don’t read as long as they once did. All of that is science fact discovered by real live scientists doing sciencey things.
Moreover, though, is that there are some of those wacky scientists who think it might be better for us since it more closely matches how we evolved to acquire and process information. Reading is unnatural, so sustained concentration is not required much outside of it. Now, that we don’t have to read as much anymore, people are losing the habit.
One thing all that truncated more to the point writing does for us, though, is make it possible to access more information in a shorter amount of time.
It’s a fascinating modern world we live in, isn’t it? But, I still prefer books to e-readers, newsprint to online papers, and sustained reading. I just wish there was more time for it.
Roger W. Smith, response:
I hope I don’t sound snide. I too prefer print books to e-books — in fact, I don’t like e-books (my sons seem to). But I disagree with several points here, or their implications. Yes, reading is an acquired skill, but one that is acquired early by most children. To nitpick: To me, it is not “unnatural” (I may be misconstruing what you meant). It is very relaxing and pleasurable to curl up with a book. And, also for me, the main purpose of reading is not to ingest or process information — it is something else, basically, aesthetic enjoyment (often) of good writing and being able to immerse myself in thoughts of great minds. To me, the only kind of reading is “sustained reading” — page by page. It is by definiiton a slow process, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I am talking about the reading of BOOKS.
— posted by Roger W. Smith
April 30, 2020