I’ve written before about Nick Carr’s book, ‘The Shallows‘ where he suggests that our brains are adjusting themselves to cope with electronic media, delivered in small chunks and that we are losing the ability to concentrate for an extended period on ‘deep reading’. I was a bit sceptical about this but over the past year or so (since I got an iPad I think) I find it harder and harder to sit down and concentrate on reading a book. After a few minutes, I seem to want to pick up my iPad or laptop, check my Twitter and RSS feeds, look at news sites, read blogs, etc.
I don’t like this one bit – I have always read widely and on a range of topics and have always had a lot of pleasure from ‘deep reading’ – not necessarily fine literature but simply losing myself in a book for a while. So, now I’m going to work on active brain reprogramming. As from today, I won’t be reading emails late at night, checking blogs etc. Instead, I’m going back to a paper book and, whenever I can, I’m going to read for at least an hour. Whether I can bridge the world of electronic media consumption and ‘deep reading’ I don’t know – but it will be interesting to find out.
I’m starting with re-reading an old travel classic – In Patagonia, by Bruce Chatwin.