A Changing Atmosphere of Reading

I find it interesting how different it is to read today than it was a mere year ago. If we jump back a decade, it is even stranger. I don’t think anyone could have predicted how easily reading is being made available at any time and any place.

In my experience reading was something that was done in discrete sections and times. I’d read after school on the bus or after homework time, but it always involved sitting down and finding a place to get my reading done in. I’d look forward to it and plan for it. It was a good thing, but at the same time something that sort of separated my reading in to chunks.

Those discrete sections were by themselves and isolated. While stories can be sectioned off like that, they are not meant to be isolated from the rest of the work. Comprehension and meaning of even the most basic of narratives requires the experiencing of both the finite ‘pieces’ and the larger whole. Before five years ago, such an integration of experience and ability was almost unheard of but now, from what I see, it is commonplace.

That is not to say that electronic books did not exist before then – there were many formats and documents readily available to read electronically, but it wasn’t convenient nor was it integrated. Now, however, it is incredibly simple to maintain your continuity and comprehension while reading. I can load a book in to my tablet and read it while I am having breakfast and then continue right from where I left off on my phone while riding in the car to work (assuming I am not driving) and pick it up during my breaks or have it open in a window in the back while I am working. I can integrate my reading experience with the rest of my events and not have to worry about separating it out or missing anything.

Which is a significant change for me. I’m not saying that I was a lazy reader before, but I find with my Kindle app, I’m much more likely to open a book and commit to it. There’ s more time for reading when I can grab those five minutes between class periods or during my short break while I am working than when I had to section it off from the rest of my experience. With a 1-year-old daughter at home, this becomes even more true since she completely ignores Daddy’s divisions of the day.

I’m still pretty firmly in the middle. I do a lot of reading of both paper and e-ink books, but I found that I was truly disappointed that my textbook for class wasn’t also available in Electronic format. The ability to move my book and not worry about my notes was extremely useful last semester and I can’t help but wish that when my book group request will be followed so I can use the electronic version of that text for class as well.

It’s a change in the atmosphere and I know there is some reluctance to shift. My mother, for one, is determined not to consider an E-Reader. My Father, on the other hand (who generally read Clive Cussler and that’s about it), would consider it. There are always those that ignore the change in the atmosphere, but there are always those that find their direction changing with it.

Just some food for thought for the day while I monitor detention.

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2 thoughts on “A Changing Atmosphere of Reading

  1. I can see what you mean. I also find that I can easily pick up an ebook in my kindle reader on my phone, but I tend to only read it when I can’t sit down for more than 15 minutes with a paper book. So, I read far more paper books than ebooks. But I find that lately, I’ve been able to just pick up where I left off without much difficulty at all. And I understand about having a young one around. My 2 year old doesn’t care what I’m doing, she’s always asking me to play with her and gets angry if I don’t.

    1. I have a tablet, so I don’t tend to read too often on my phone. Even with the screen, I find the text annoying to read on such a small space. My tablet, on the other hand, is perfect for reading.

      Yeah, I find it easy to be guilt tripped by little one. I love playing with her and I want to do it more than I want to read. A problem for a writer, but not for a daddy. 🙂

      Thanks for the comment.

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