Reading Regardless of Medium?

The medium does matter. It matters greatly. The experience of reading words on a networked computer, whether it’s a PC, an iPhone, or a Kindle, is very different from the experience of reading those same words in a book. As a technology, a book focuses our attention, isolates us from the myriad distractions that fill our everyday lives. A networked computer does precisely the opposite. It is designed to scatter our attention. It doesn’t shield us from environmental distractions; it adds to them. The words on a computer screen exist in a welter of conflicting stimuli.

— Nicholas Carr, “The Bookless Library,” in Is the Internet Changing the Way You Think?, edited by John Brockman

2 Responses to “Reading Regardless of Medium?”

  1. Peter Hatch says:

    That’s true of a PC, but it’s just not the case with a Kindle.

  2. Administrator says:

    I think I mostly agree with you. But if the Kindle has advertising — or web access — or any other books loaded on it — then it’s a little bit true. Like if you are reading from a multi-volume complete works (but one that’s really light), you have to work a tiny bit harder to stay focused on the particular thing you’re reading.

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