Sunday August 27, 2017

Is the way you read changing?

Is the way you read changing?

Is the way you read changing? (Canadian Press)

Listen to Full Episode 1:11:29

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. 

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. 

Randy Boyagoda

Cross Country Checkup guest host Randy Boyagoda. (Samantha Lui/CBC )

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?

Guests

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)

Twitter: @katepullinger

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.  

Twitter: @pomerian99

Christine McWebb, Director of the University of Waterloo Stratford Campus for Digital Media  and Professor of French

Twitter: : @cmcwebb

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