A thought-provoking and well-written article by Sue Vincent regarding the merits and demerits of reading online and losing onself in a traditional, paper book. Being blind and unable to read print, I welcome the ability to read material online using my screen reading software (Job Access with Speech or JAWS) which converts text into speech and braille on a Windows computer. I also appreciate the text to speech facility on my Kindle and have spent many happy hours having books read aloud to me. Also, having recently purchased an Amazon Echo, I have begun (after several years of not having done so) to, once more lose myself in an audio book from Audible (I’m currently reading Austin’s “Emma”). Having said all that, I find that there is something uniquely special about losing oneself in a paper book. In my bedroom, living room and the study in which I am now writing are bookcases full of braille books from which I derive tremendous pleasure. However the bulk of braille (“The New Oxford Book of English Verse” runs to some 10 braille volumes) means that I can only own a tiny percentage of the books in that format that I would (where I to be a print reader) be able to own. Additionally only a tiny percentage of the books available in print have been transcribed into braille (including my collections of poetry “My Old Clock I Wind and Other Poems” and “Lost in the Labyrinth of My Mind”). Kevin
As I scrolled down the page I became conscious that I was doing exactly the thing I was researching. My ‘normal’ concentration and attention to words, born of my lifelong love for seeing them unfold on paper, was wandering off and bouncing around.
There has been a good deal of research and publicity on how the way we read differs from book to screen. The research covers the way we gather, assimilate, remember and understand information and the results of some studies are startling, though you would have to read them all… preferably on paper, it seems… to get the full range of detail as they look at everything from empathy to engagement, from transportation, cognition, to the ability to reconstruct events.
This particular article was well crafted, engaging and interesting; the information pertinent… and yet there I was visually skimming the paragraphs, dipping in and out to extract information…
View original post 876 more words