"Deep reading" is vigorous exercise from the brain and increases our real-life capacity for empathy
|Scooped by GoogleLitTrips Reading List|
It's just one of those days!
My third scoop of the day and each takes a slightly different take on the value of openness to ambiguity and alternative interpretations.
Like the ThugNotes comments, this article poses both concepts and ideas that I find quite attractive and concepts and ideas that I'm not so certain I can agree with.
But in either case, reading both what I agree with and what I may not agree with provides a value much richer than reading with blinders on.
For example, I really liked this..
“ 'Deep reading' — as opposed to the often superficial reading we do on the Web — is an endangered practice, one we ought to take steps to preserve as we would a historic building or a significant work of art. Its disappearance would imperil the intellectual and emotional development of generations growing up online, as well as the perpetuation of a critical part of our culture: the novels, poems and other kinds of literature that can be appreciated only by readers whose brains, quite literally, have been trained to apprehend them."
Yet at the same time, when the author extends this argument to suggest ...
"A growing body of evidence suggests that online reading may be less engaging and less satisfying, even for the “digital natives” for whom it is so familiar. Last month, for example, Britain’s National Literacy Trust released the results of a study of 34,910 young people aged 8 to 16. Researchers reported that 39% of children and teens read daily using electronic devices, but only 28% read printed materials every day. Those who read only onscreen were three times less likely to say they enjoy reading very much and a third less likely to have a favorite book. The study also found that young people who read daily only onscreen were nearly two times less likely to be above-average readers than those who read daily in print or both in print and onscreen."
...I have concerns that the explanation for such data has insufficiently considered the causes and effects leading to the conclusions drawn.
I think a serious case could be put forward that printed reading is becoming much less engaging for many digital reading of the same text. But that is not the parameters of comparison here. Comparing engagement with paper text with engagement with e-reader text is a perhaps more authentic than comparing printed text (implying paper) to web reading (including very different kinds of reading).
I would concede that reading text on my laptop does cause me to lose that deep engagement. Yet, reading text on my iPad is much more engaging for me. The difference? The physical process of reading on my iPad is very similar to reading a paper-based version of the same text. I can hold my iPad in one hand. I virtually turn pages in a very similar fashion, I can slouch around in my hammock while reading or sit on a rock at the top of a mountain with my iPad. But, I can't do that with my laptop so easily.
On my laptop, I can't as easily pause and savor while highlighting and writing marginalia (which does slow the reading allowing for the very slowing down the author endorses). When comparing paper-based reading to web reading, these disadvantages of web-based reading do make web-reading less engaging to me.
But, on the other hand, my iPad kicks the butt of paper-based reading when it comes to highlighting and marginalia conveniences and advantages.
Is the author wrong and therefore is this article to be dismissed? Of course not, critical thinkers don't really judge complex issues in such black and white terms.
I like much, perhaps even most of what this author is suggesting in spite of the fact that there are parts of the argument that I find troublesome.