Thursday, June 14, 2012

Do You Find It More Difficult to Read Books?

Nicholas Carr's book The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains has the thesis that pervasive computer use is rewiring our brains in such a way that we are made less able to concentrate for long periods of time, formulate and comprehend long, intricate arguments, and to engage in sustained deep reading. His argument hinges on experiments in neuroplasticity, the nature of on-line writing and web site design, and the ways in which we engage with text we are reading. He motivates the argument with a couple of anecdotes, people we would think do serious deep reading who claim that they no longer do or can now that they use on-line sources as primary modes of information gathering.

I'm curious about the selection of such anecdotes. Are they representative. So, you, reader of at least one blog, most likely more, do you find that since you have begun using electronic means of information collecting that your ability to engage in deep reading of longer texts has been affected? Is it harder to concentrate on books?