Tue. Sep 26th, 2023


I’m not the only one. When I mention my troubles with reading to friends and acquaintances—literary types, most of them—many say they’re having similar experiences. The more they use the Web, the more they have to fight to stay focused on long pieces of writing. Some of the bloggers I follow have also begun mentioning the phenomenon. Scott Karp, who writes a blog about online media, recently confessed that he has stopped reading books altogether. “I was a lit major in college, and used to be [a] voracious book reader,” he wrote. “What happened?” He speculates on the answer: “What if I do all my reading on the web not so much because the way I read has changed, i.e. I’m just seeking convenience, but because the way I THINK has changed?”

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Joyce Lovelace
Joyce Lovelace
10 years ago

I wonder if some of the problem is just that many of us are reading a lot all day long, and we get tired of reading. I read all day long at work, inputting data, researching orders etc. The fields are static, the print always the same. Reading on a computer monitor is very tiring. Folks who run machines, now run them by computer rather than making manual adjustments.

Ken Carman
Reply to  Joyce Lovelace
9 years ago

Until 99 I had never touched a computer. Now it swallows time: some Jaws-like digital shark. Am I smarter? Yes. Has my attention span shrunk? Oh, yeah.

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