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Mirkat Always Reading

I'm always reading something, usually multiple books at a time.

The Shallows

The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains - Nicholas G. Carr, William Hughes

It's kind of ironic that I listened to this book in audio format, since that represents a reversion to the oral tradition and the days before silent reading became prevalent, as Carr describes in his overview of the history of printed books. There were also times where my attention flagged and my brain seemed to prove Carr's points about internet use making it harder for us to focus. Frankly, there were times that I stuck with the book only to make a point to myself.

Listening to this book instead of reading, of course, has another dimension to it, and there were times when I wondered if the narrator had been directed to deliver certain lines in a "dripping with contempt" manner. This seemed to happen when he described phenomena such as digitized books that contain (*gasp*) hypertext. Sometimes I really wanted to argue with the author. I love books but don't fetishize the physical sheafs of paper between cardboard. I'm just as happy reading on a screen as I am reading from paper, if not moreso.

On the other hand--I AM finding that my attention flits about much more than it used to. I DO find it harder to concentrate. I DO switch from reading an article to checking my email to working on a document to reading forums and social media, and on and on. And losing myself in a book seems to take more effort than it used to.

And it's alarming that computer use appears to alter way our brains form memory, on a physical level. This certainly suggests to me that I need to unplug more often and do more analog reading and learning. Not all the time--but at least some of the time.