Sunday, May 11, 2014

The future of reading

Today's episode of Spark on CBC Radio focused on the future of reading in the internet age. How, generally, the rhythm of our lives and the rhythm of deep reading no longer intersect.

Listen online:

Robotics in work and life: Margaret Atwood on robots and AI.

Bite-sized reading: Rooster, an app that breaks down novels into easily digestible bite-sized chunks.

Scanning and skimming: It turns out we do read differently whether text is on screen or on paper. A conversation with Maryanne Wolf, neuroscientist and author of Proust and the Squid. One of the points made is that reading is not a natural thing — it's totally learned. So internet reading feeds our predatory/preservationist instincts for watching, searching, jumping, quick processing. "The quality of our attention is a mirror of the quality of our thought."

Social reading: The idea of "social reading" is not for me — I read alone, I don't want to be intruded upon. But this segment is about a story-sharing app, Wattpad. Of course stories are a social phenomenon, and this app seems to be about engaging with people who want to tell them.

With commentary by bookfuturist Tim Carmody.

The 53-minute podcast is worth a listen. . . or you may wish to spend that time reading instead.

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