Friday, December 07, 2007

Reading about Reading

The Chronicle has this article about the state of reading and the NEA' s newest report, To Read or Not to Read: A Question of National Consequence. There's a lot that I find interesting and on point in this article. In the interest of brevity, I'll say that what I found most intriguing (aside from Thomas Jefferson's apparently famous lazy susan for books, of course) was Kirschenbaum's point that accounts of reading must be historically specific, taking into account new forms of literacy that surface with new kinds of "texts."


Blogger Michael E. said...

This is the 2nd or 3rd thing that I've read by Kirschenbaum, and I think he's smart on these topics, but I wonder about this point:

"my instinct is that computer users are capable of projecting the same aura of deep concentration and immersion as the stereotypical bookworm. Walk into your favorite coffee shop and watch the people in front of their screens. Rather than bug-eyed, frenzied jittering, you are more likely to see calm, meditative engagement — and hear the occasional click of fingers on keyboards as the readers write."

My own anecdotal observations would suggest that this isn't right. Digital readers may not be bug-eyed and frenzied, but calm and meditative?

9:22 AM  

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