Sunday August 27, 2017
Is the way you read changing?
I began summer with the best of intentions: to read more and to read more slowly.
I'm a novelist and English professor and a lifelong reader, and I found it almost impossible to read a book for more than ten minutes without checking my phone.
Summer is of course the perfect time to indulge in reading. But as the writer Philip Yancey wrote in a Washington Post column this summer, many of us are finding that we are losing the ability to read in the full and meaningful ways we once did.
More from this episode:
It's become all too easy to scroll through a Twitter feed or hop onto Facebook, of course. The problem though, I think, goes deeper than that.
Even when we are reading online, how often do we read past the opening paragraph of a story? Even a really great reflective piece usually only gets a skim and then we spend more time linking to it and forwarding it to others than actually reading the material ourselves, whether it's an essay in The Atlantic, or a feature in The Globe and Mail... or analysis on CBC.ca.
For many of us it's increasingly difficult to read anything all the way through right to the end.
This isn't a new problem. In these last lazy summer days —whether it's by a dock, on your porch..or even on the bus — there are always those old issues of magazines and tattered, once-beloved paperbacks to flick through. But, there's little doubt digital technology has exacerbated our reading problem.
What is your experience? Do you read differently on your screen compared to a hard copy?
Are you still reading indepth? If so, are there some things that you think lend themselves to reading slowly and carefully? And is anyone out there still reading poetry?!
What about reading aloud to your kids? Or listening to audio books? If you are one of our younger listeners..how do you get your story fix?
If you're a student getting ready to hit the books again we would love to hear from you. Maybe you're one of the many teachers thinking about the piles of books you have to teach this year..Is reading cover to cover getting to be a harder sell?
Our question today: Is the way you read changing?
Phillip Yancey, best selling Christian author and speaker, known for "What's So Amazing About Grace" (1997). Also editor-at-large for Christianity Today.
Kate Pullinger, Governor General's Award author of "TheMIstress of Nothing" and Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. She is at the frontier of writing digital fiction and transmedia novels (Inanimate Alice; Landing Gear)
Clive Thompson, contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired. He's also the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing our Minds For the Better.
Christine McWebb, Director of the University of Waterloo Stratford Campus for Digital Media and Professor of French
Twitter: : @cmcwebb
- CBC Spark: Reading by ear
- CBC Spark: Scanning and skimming
- Reading from a screen harms our ability to concentrate
- Welcome to the future of reading: A new multimedia novel is tapping into students' love of technology and film
- Review of Susan Greenfield's Mind Change: How Digital Technologies Are Leaving Their Mark On Our Brain
- The future of books: from Gutenberg to e-readers
Videos we're watching
- CBC LIVE: Celebrity Reading Rituals and Book Fetishes
- Rita Carter on the BBC - How Reading Changes The Brain
- Emory University study on the impact of stories on the brain
- Google Amnesia
- Short- and Long-Term Effects of a Novel on Connectivity in the Brain
- 12 Reasons I Have Decided to Read One Book Per Week
- GQ: How to Read a Whole Damn Book Every Week
- Interview: Clive Thompson's "Smarter Than You Think"
- PEW Research: Long-Form Reading Shows Signs of Life in Our Mobile News World