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Serious reading takes a hit from online scanning and skimming, researchers say
Claire Handscombe has a commitment problem online. Like a lot of Web surfers, she clicks on links posted on social networks, reads a few sentences, looks for exciting words, and then grows restless, scampering off to the next page she probably won‚Äôt commit to.
‚ÄúI give it a few seconds ‚ÄĒ not even minutes ‚ÄĒ and then I‚Äôm moving again,‚ÄĚ says Handscombe, a 35-year-old graduate student in creative writing at American University.
But it‚Äôs not just online anymore. She finds herself behaving the same way with a novel....
what I've noticed is people moving to smaller screens so they don't want to read whole articles, and think now, they just want a summary, headline, ripe to be told what to think, often won't take the time to hear out what someone is saying because it needs to fit on the small screen... it almost becomes social etiquette to say nothing at all, its not the mindset of a free people.
I've noticed a long-standing conceit, among educators & booksellers particularly, that reading anything, no matter how trivial, obscene, or poorly-reasoned, is somehow good for you. It starts with the tripe vended at primary-school book fairs (sponsored by self-interested publishers like Scholastic).
So given the amount of rubbish available at Amazon and B&N, it's probably just as well that these people aren't doing "serious" reading.