Is Digital Reading Eroding Our Ability to Think and Reason?

“READING IS A BRIDGE TO THOUGHT” –  close reading, that is….

This is a very interesting article from the New Yorker that validates an intuition and suspicion I’ve had for a while, and it’s something that’s been needling me for some time.

I’m nostalgic these days for paper and pen, real physical books I can hold, cradle, hug and love–and letters from friends and relatives in their own hand.  I often lament the absence of the lovely sound of a real human voice over the phone in the constant text messages I receive all day.

As all things go digital or online, we are becoming too distant from life, and other lives, the sense and sensuality of it, I think.  We are sentient beings and as such this is real a loss for us, I fear.

EXCERPT From the New Yorker, “How to Be a Better Online Reader”

[These] concerns go far beyond simple comprehension. Wolf [author of this piece] fears that as we turn to digital formats, we may see a negative effect on the process that she calls deep reading. Deep reading isn’t how we approach looking for news or information, or trying to get the gist of something. It’s the ‘sophisticated comprehension processes,’ as Wolf calls it ….  ‘Reading is a bridge to thought,’ she says. ‘And it’s that process that I think is the real endangered aspect of reading…'”

Read the whole thing here:


About Margaret Jean Langstaff

A lifelong critical reader with literary tastes, a novelist, short story writer, essayist, book critic, and professional book editor for many years. A consultant to publishers and authors, providing manuscript critiques and a full range of editorial services. A friend and supporter of all other readers and writers. A collector of signed modern first editions. Animal lover and tree hugger. Follow me on Twitter @LangstaffEditor
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