Screading vs. Reading

The Chronicle of Higher Education has an article about scholarship on the difference between reading from a page and reading from a screen (termed “screading”).

[Anne] Mangen notes the growing sub-field of screen reading studies, but finds that the "intangibility and volatility of the digital text" remain under-examined. She focuses first, then, on the material nature of digital and non-digital reading experiences. "Unlike print texts," she writes, "digital texts are ontologically intangible and detached from the physical and mechanical dimension of their material support, namely, their computer or e-book (or other devices, such as the PDA, the iPod or the mobile phone" (405).

This is important, she argues, because "materiality matters." The reading experience includes manual activities and haptic perceptions (what the skin and muscles and joints register), and so as activities and perceptions of that kind are changed from one kind of reading experience to another because of the object, the reading experience, too, will change.

The differences between screen and paper go deeper than the physics of each. They also involve the relationship the reader has to them. For Mangen, a crucial difference lies in the nature of the immersion in screen "worlds" as being distinct from the technology that facilitates it. In other words, the mouse, head set, and so on provide the entry into the visual world, but are not constitutive parts of it. "In contrast," she explains, "consider the sense of being immersed in a fictional world which is largely the product of our own mental, cognitive abilities to create that fictive, virtual (in the figurative sense of the word) world from the symbolic representations — the text, whether purely linguistic or multi-modal, digital or print — displayed by means of any technological platform." Books don't have tools to help readers make up that fictive world, and so they do it more with their own minds. . . .

One effect, Mangen maintains, is that the digital text makes us read "in a shallower, less focused way."

There are other effects as well, but this one is far-reaching. While "shallower" reading through or on the screen serves certain purposes quite well, when it comes to reading complex texts and interpreting, analyzing, or even summarizing them, a slower and deeper habit is needed.

I’m not sure I’m convinced. It definitely seems harder to read a long, sustained work on a screen as opposed to a book. Screading (if we are to adopt the word) does seem to work better for shorter shots of language. Let me ask you owners of Kindle or similar readers. Is your reading experience qualitatively different when you read on a Kindle vs. reading ink on paper? Are you missing anything?

For more:

HT: Jackie

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Gilbert Franke

    If ‘screading’ enters our common vocabulary, shouldn’t we, in order to make a clear distinction when talking about reading from a book, use adopt a new word: ‘breading?’ — On a more serious note, is ‘materiality matters’ an attempt to carry ‘the medium is the message’ to the next level? — Gil

  • Gilbert Franke

    If ‘screading’ enters our common vocabulary, shouldn’t we, in order to make a clear distinction when talking about reading from a book, use adopt a new word: ‘breading?’ — On a more serious note, is ‘materiality matters’ an attempt to carry ‘the medium is the message’ to the next level? — Gil

  • Dan Kempin

    I’m not convinced, either, that “screading” itself causes us to read differently. I’ve certainly read some posts on this blog as carefully as anything I’ve read on paper.

    I do think that there is a psychological devaluation of the written text that can take place on a screen, though. Whether it is because of the reasons listed above, or simply because of the vast power to choose “something else,” I am probably more likely to be dismissive of material when “screading.”

  • Dan Kempin

    I’m not convinced, either, that “screading” itself causes us to read differently. I’ve certainly read some posts on this blog as carefully as anything I’ve read on paper.

    I do think that there is a psychological devaluation of the written text that can take place on a screen, though. Whether it is because of the reasons listed above, or simply because of the vast power to choose “something else,” I am probably more likely to be dismissive of material when “screading.”

  • Steve

    It seems that with me I prefer having the “hard copy” in my hands. Most often during “serious” reading I will go back and forth to different parts of the text. I also reread sections that seem more important to me. Those things make books and paper superior for me personally. Both my wife and I have found ourselves printing blogs that we want to ponder.

  • Steve

    It seems that with me I prefer having the “hard copy” in my hands. Most often during “serious” reading I will go back and forth to different parts of the text. I also reread sections that seem more important to me. Those things make books and paper superior for me personally. Both my wife and I have found ourselves printing blogs that we want to ponder.

  • Orianna Laun

    I don’t own a Kindle or any comparable item, mostly because I’m cheap. I do remember, however, a literature professor in college who encouraged us to “talk back” to our books. He suggested writing in the margins, marking them up, making notes. I don’t necessarily do this any more, but one who “screads” cannot unless they carry around a notebook, which rather defeats the purpose.
    This issue is similar to the hymnal vs. screen debate. Is there something to having tangible books over projected material, which can somewhat be controlled? It makes me think of watching a play on a stage over watching a recording of a play which is limited by the perspective of the person doing the recording (who might miss an aside action).
    Maybe I’m just old school.

  • Orianna Laun

    I don’t own a Kindle or any comparable item, mostly because I’m cheap. I do remember, however, a literature professor in college who encouraged us to “talk back” to our books. He suggested writing in the margins, marking them up, making notes. I don’t necessarily do this any more, but one who “screads” cannot unless they carry around a notebook, which rather defeats the purpose.
    This issue is similar to the hymnal vs. screen debate. Is there something to having tangible books over projected material, which can somewhat be controlled? It makes me think of watching a play on a stage over watching a recording of a play which is limited by the perspective of the person doing the recording (who might miss an aside action).
    Maybe I’m just old school.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    “Screading (if we are to adopt the word) does seem to work better for shorter shots of language.”
    Now could some one get that to register with fw? :)

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    “Screading (if we are to adopt the word) does seem to work better for shorter shots of language.”
    Now could some one get that to register with fw? :)

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    I’ve read a few books on line–though not on Kindle or whatever–and the big complaint I have is that it’s harder to bookmark things. And a screen is a bit harder on the eyes, but sometimes the price is right for online books.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    I’ve read a few books on line–though not on Kindle or whatever–and the big complaint I have is that it’s harder to bookmark things. And a screen is a bit harder on the eyes, but sometimes the price is right for online books.

  • Tom Hering

    The printed book continues to be a superb technology. And if greeting cards can now play music and record messages, I can see printed books being enhanced one day with touch-screen indexes, spoken lectures and voice-note recorders embedded in the inside back cover. How cool would that be?

  • Tom Hering

    The printed book continues to be a superb technology. And if greeting cards can now play music and record messages, I can see printed books being enhanced one day with touch-screen indexes, spoken lectures and voice-note recorders embedded in the inside back cover. How cool would that be?

  • WebMonk

    Was there anything in Mangen’s research that backs up what she was stating? I read the article, and tried (briefly) to follow some links to see if there was something more, but couldn’t really find much.

    Is comprehension or retention impaired while reading from a screen?

    Is scrolling the mouse wheel insufficient interaction compared with page turning?

    As far as I can tell, Mangen’s interviews say nothing but her opinion without anything more concrete to back up what she says. Maybe there are more concrete details, but I haven’t seen them, and I’d be interested in finding out the extent to which Mangen’s statements are supported.

  • WebMonk

    Was there anything in Mangen’s research that backs up what she was stating? I read the article, and tried (briefly) to follow some links to see if there was something more, but couldn’t really find much.

    Is comprehension or retention impaired while reading from a screen?

    Is scrolling the mouse wheel insufficient interaction compared with page turning?

    As far as I can tell, Mangen’s interviews say nothing but her opinion without anything more concrete to back up what she says. Maybe there are more concrete details, but I haven’t seen them, and I’d be interested in finding out the extent to which Mangen’s statements are supported.

  • http://pulchersentio.prwdot.org Will

    I’ve done a bit of screen reading, and it really depends on the individual piece itself how well it translates. My personal favorite thus far is the Classics iPhone app – http://www.classicsapp.com/ . The programmers not only picked some excellent content (Homer, Austen, Twain, Dickens, others), but they also attempted to make the experience as akin to reading actual books as possible. The page “physically” flips as you turn it, they’ve paid a lot of attention to typography, many of the books that had illustrations in their earlier forms still do. You can access the table of contents without losing your spot (like putting a finger in your place). There are little subtle visual cues to tell you how far along a given book you are. When you go back to the “shelf,” it puts a bookmark in your place, and then move the book to another part of the shelf when you’re done with it.

    I’ve also used Amazon’s Kindle iPhone app. It has the advantage of much more content (and lots of public domain titles for free), but the experience is much less immersive. It does, however, maintain pagination in the same way that Classics does. I think this is a key element in a decent screen reading experience for longer works. Scrolling feels like tedium; finishing a page feels like progress (note I disagree with this principle on sites e.g. the NYT that divide stories up into “pages” merely to increase add revenue).

    Because of the pagination, and also the size, I’ve found reading longer works on portable devices to be much more palatable than reading on a laptop or desktop (I read all of Anna Karenina as PDFs once).

    Mangen’s hypothesis feels right because of the kinds of media that have arisen with on-screen type. The blogs I tend to read the most regularly are short enough to not produce much content “above the fold.” My twitter feed is definitely something born of on-screen attention spans, for lack of a better term. However, I don’t think this means that the screen itself leads to poorer reading. Right now I’m going through Call of the Wild on my iPhone, but I’m also reading Nick Cave’s new novel (picked up from the local library; apparently they still have books), and a paperback of my grandfather’s memoirs. If anything, I’m finding I can engage more thoroughly with the on-screen text at this point because it’s coming at me in smaller chunks than in either of the print books. It’s also really nice to always have something to read without having to take a man-purse with me everywhere I go.

    Books aren’t going anywhere (if for no other reason than data persistence), but I can definitely see a growing market—and a growing maturity—for screen type as well.

  • http://pulchersentio.prwdot.org Will

    I’ve done a bit of screen reading, and it really depends on the individual piece itself how well it translates. My personal favorite thus far is the Classics iPhone app – http://www.classicsapp.com/ . The programmers not only picked some excellent content (Homer, Austen, Twain, Dickens, others), but they also attempted to make the experience as akin to reading actual books as possible. The page “physically” flips as you turn it, they’ve paid a lot of attention to typography, many of the books that had illustrations in their earlier forms still do. You can access the table of contents without losing your spot (like putting a finger in your place). There are little subtle visual cues to tell you how far along a given book you are. When you go back to the “shelf,” it puts a bookmark in your place, and then move the book to another part of the shelf when you’re done with it.

    I’ve also used Amazon’s Kindle iPhone app. It has the advantage of much more content (and lots of public domain titles for free), but the experience is much less immersive. It does, however, maintain pagination in the same way that Classics does. I think this is a key element in a decent screen reading experience for longer works. Scrolling feels like tedium; finishing a page feels like progress (note I disagree with this principle on sites e.g. the NYT that divide stories up into “pages” merely to increase add revenue).

    Because of the pagination, and also the size, I’ve found reading longer works on portable devices to be much more palatable than reading on a laptop or desktop (I read all of Anna Karenina as PDFs once).

    Mangen’s hypothesis feels right because of the kinds of media that have arisen with on-screen type. The blogs I tend to read the most regularly are short enough to not produce much content “above the fold.” My twitter feed is definitely something born of on-screen attention spans, for lack of a better term. However, I don’t think this means that the screen itself leads to poorer reading. Right now I’m going through Call of the Wild on my iPhone, but I’m also reading Nick Cave’s new novel (picked up from the local library; apparently they still have books), and a paperback of my grandfather’s memoirs. If anything, I’m finding I can engage more thoroughly with the on-screen text at this point because it’s coming at me in smaller chunks than in either of the print books. It’s also really nice to always have something to read without having to take a man-purse with me everywhere I go.

    Books aren’t going anywhere (if for no other reason than data persistence), but I can definitely see a growing market—and a growing maturity—for screen type as well.

  • http://www.fatherhollywood.blogspot.com Rev. Larry Beane

    Personally, I prefer paper texts, but I find no substantial difference in reading a book via paper and reading via my Palm.

    I can indeed take notes in my Palm reader. I can highlight, jot down my own thoughts, and even look words up in the dictionary on the fly with the push of a button. I can read at night with no lights on.

    The experience is tangible, as I hold the Palm unit (a TX) just like a small book, and I “turn pages” with my thumb.

    Unlike a printed book, the reader can change the font style and size to suit his tastes on the fly.

    But the real power is in having a huge library in the “Palm” of my hand. I’m using an old and embarrassingly small SD card to store my liberary, and even then, it is not even half full.

    And here is what I have on my Palm right now (almost all through free downloads from the ‘Net):

    - Volumes 1, 2, and 3 of the Ante Nicene Fathers
    - Volumes (first series) 2, (second series) 4, 10, and 12 of the Nicene and Post Nicene fathers (all volumes are available for a small donation)
    - 9 works by Chesterton
    - 16 volumes of ancient, world, and American history
    - 16 general works of literature (e.g. Four Feathers, Last Days of Pompeii, Jude the Obscure, Great Gatsby, etc.)
    - all 13 volumes of O. Henry’s works
    - 7 volumes of poetry
    - 21 miscellaneous volumes of theology
    - 19 volumes of Latin (works of literature, grammars, etc.)

    And this is separate from my Bible software, in which I have the following versions: Hebrew OT, LXX Greek OT, Greek NT (all three of which can parse and are connected to dictionaries), ESV, Douay-Rheims, KJV, NKJV, the Vulgate, the French Bible, the Swedish Bible, and Luther’s German translation – as well as several commentaries and maps linked to the texts. I have the ESV Study Bible as well, and am told the the TLSB will soon be available.

    I’m currently working through Chesterton’s *Everlasting Man* and Augustine’s *City of God.* I have these works readily available when I’m stuck in line at the grocery store, in a waiting room, or whenever. The Palm automatically marks my spots in all of the books, and I also create additional bookmarks to mark the chapters. I also have passages highlighted, and there are several “pen colors” and the ability to take notes.

    But best of all, this entire library fits in my pocket.

    I suspect this is similar to the experience of Kindle users, but the Palm can do a lot of other things as well.

  • http://www.fatherhollywood.blogspot.com Rev. Larry Beane

    Personally, I prefer paper texts, but I find no substantial difference in reading a book via paper and reading via my Palm.

    I can indeed take notes in my Palm reader. I can highlight, jot down my own thoughts, and even look words up in the dictionary on the fly with the push of a button. I can read at night with no lights on.

    The experience is tangible, as I hold the Palm unit (a TX) just like a small book, and I “turn pages” with my thumb.

    Unlike a printed book, the reader can change the font style and size to suit his tastes on the fly.

    But the real power is in having a huge library in the “Palm” of my hand. I’m using an old and embarrassingly small SD card to store my liberary, and even then, it is not even half full.

    And here is what I have on my Palm right now (almost all through free downloads from the ‘Net):

    - Volumes 1, 2, and 3 of the Ante Nicene Fathers
    - Volumes (first series) 2, (second series) 4, 10, and 12 of the Nicene and Post Nicene fathers (all volumes are available for a small donation)
    - 9 works by Chesterton
    - 16 volumes of ancient, world, and American history
    - 16 general works of literature (e.g. Four Feathers, Last Days of Pompeii, Jude the Obscure, Great Gatsby, etc.)
    - all 13 volumes of O. Henry’s works
    - 7 volumes of poetry
    - 21 miscellaneous volumes of theology
    - 19 volumes of Latin (works of literature, grammars, etc.)

    And this is separate from my Bible software, in which I have the following versions: Hebrew OT, LXX Greek OT, Greek NT (all three of which can parse and are connected to dictionaries), ESV, Douay-Rheims, KJV, NKJV, the Vulgate, the French Bible, the Swedish Bible, and Luther’s German translation – as well as several commentaries and maps linked to the texts. I have the ESV Study Bible as well, and am told the the TLSB will soon be available.

    I’m currently working through Chesterton’s *Everlasting Man* and Augustine’s *City of God.* I have these works readily available when I’m stuck in line at the grocery store, in a waiting room, or whenever. The Palm automatically marks my spots in all of the books, and I also create additional bookmarks to mark the chapters. I also have passages highlighted, and there are several “pen colors” and the ability to take notes.

    But best of all, this entire library fits in my pocket.

    I suspect this is similar to the experience of Kindle users, but the Palm can do a lot of other things as well.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    Part of the materiality matters argument is that reading a book involves more of your senses…there is the smell of paper, the artifactual imperfections to see, and the texture and weight of the book in your hands. That all being said, I think the big diference is in readability, and IMHO the Kindle has mastered that (unlike Sony’s new reader, which I find abysmal on the ol’ retinas).

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    Part of the materiality matters argument is that reading a book involves more of your senses…there is the smell of paper, the artifactual imperfections to see, and the texture and weight of the book in your hands. That all being said, I think the big diference is in readability, and IMHO the Kindle has mastered that (unlike Sony’s new reader, which I find abysmal on the ol’ retinas).

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Shame on you Larry,
    All that time learning Swedish with you, and not even one in Swedish in your vast electronic library. All that Latin, and no Swedish, have you forgotten the language of heaven?

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Shame on you Larry,
    All that time learning Swedish with you, and not even one in Swedish in your vast electronic library. All that Latin, and no Swedish, have you forgotten the language of heaven?

  • WebMonk

    Uh oh, I might get burnt at the stake for this, but I like screens just as well as books. It depends on my mood (and availability of books/files) but over the last couple years, I’ve probably read five times as many books on the computer as I have physical books.

    I’ve read just about every style in both formats – major literature pieces (reread most of Jane Austen’s books on the computer over the last year and a half), popular fiction, theology/Christian life books, text books, short stories, etc.

    The convenience is MUCH better for digital files, but my sofa is a lot more comfortable than my computer chairs, so if I had two copies equally available to me, I’d probably pick the physical book because I can read it more comfortably sprawled on my sofa than with my computer. (I don’t have a Kindle or iPhone.)

  • WebMonk

    Uh oh, I might get burnt at the stake for this, but I like screens just as well as books. It depends on my mood (and availability of books/files) but over the last couple years, I’ve probably read five times as many books on the computer as I have physical books.

    I’ve read just about every style in both formats – major literature pieces (reread most of Jane Austen’s books on the computer over the last year and a half), popular fiction, theology/Christian life books, text books, short stories, etc.

    The convenience is MUCH better for digital files, but my sofa is a lot more comfortable than my computer chairs, so if I had two copies equally available to me, I’d probably pick the physical book because I can read it more comfortably sprawled on my sofa than with my computer. (I don’t have a Kindle or iPhone.)

  • http://www.fatherhollywood.blogspot.com Rev. Larry Beane

    Dear Bror:

    I do have one Swedish book (Goteborgsflickor) and one in French (Hugo’s Notre Dame de Paris). There are not as many resources (yet) as in English.

    One source for free e-books (including those not in English) is manybooks.net.

    Tack!

  • http://www.fatherhollywood.blogspot.com Rev. Larry Beane

    Dear Bror:

    I do have one Swedish book (Goteborgsflickor) and one in French (Hugo’s Notre Dame de Paris). There are not as many resources (yet) as in English.

    One source for free e-books (including those not in English) is manybooks.net.

    Tack!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Like WebMonk (@8), I don’t see this as being terribly evidence-based, and even if it were, I’d have to ask, “Is this only true now because we are on the cusp of change?”

    That is, if people react better to physical books than they do screen reading (I refuse to use her portmanteau, which has dubious homonymic connotations), is it because, well, we’ve been reading books for hundreds or thousands of years? Because books have had way more time to work out their bugs than have digital media?

    Basically, my question is: will we still be arguing about how alienating or awkward reading from a digital screen is in, say, 100 years? I argue no. I mean, cars were a radical shift in thinking and behaving, but I don’t think anyone can argue we haven’t acclimated to them just fine (and it took less than a century).

    For now, we still have emotional hang-ups about physical pages. But then, we all grew up having nothing but physical pages. Will my son — who will grow up in a world in which the Internet has always existed — have the same thoughts?

    And say what you will about the kinks that haven’t yet been worked out in digital reading, but have you ever found yourself frustratedly flipping pages in a book, trying in vain to find a particular passage and wondering why you just can’t type it into a box? I have, and I ended up going to Google Books to see if the publisher had been enlightened enough to let me search the book’s contents. Physical books do not have all the advantages.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Like WebMonk (@8), I don’t see this as being terribly evidence-based, and even if it were, I’d have to ask, “Is this only true now because we are on the cusp of change?”

    That is, if people react better to physical books than they do screen reading (I refuse to use her portmanteau, which has dubious homonymic connotations), is it because, well, we’ve been reading books for hundreds or thousands of years? Because books have had way more time to work out their bugs than have digital media?

    Basically, my question is: will we still be arguing about how alienating or awkward reading from a digital screen is in, say, 100 years? I argue no. I mean, cars were a radical shift in thinking and behaving, but I don’t think anyone can argue we haven’t acclimated to them just fine (and it took less than a century).

    For now, we still have emotional hang-ups about physical pages. But then, we all grew up having nothing but physical pages. Will my son — who will grow up in a world in which the Internet has always existed — have the same thoughts?

    And say what you will about the kinks that haven’t yet been worked out in digital reading, but have you ever found yourself frustratedly flipping pages in a book, trying in vain to find a particular passage and wondering why you just can’t type it into a box? I have, and I ended up going to Google Books to see if the publisher had been enlightened enough to let me search the book’s contents. Physical books do not have all the advantages.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    I prefer to have books read to me and I just listen. That’s the best. But I only like to be read to from real books and pages. To be read to from a screen really bugs me! A lot! I prefer to hear the pages being turned against one another and between the fingers of the hands of the reader. You know the sound. Perhaps if that sound plus the occasional sound of the book being dropped against the floor could be digitally inserted into the text at reasoned intervals, that would be great.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    I prefer to have books read to me and I just listen. That’s the best. But I only like to be read to from real books and pages. To be read to from a screen really bugs me! A lot! I prefer to hear the pages being turned against one another and between the fingers of the hands of the reader. You know the sound. Perhaps if that sound plus the occasional sound of the book being dropped against the floor could be digitally inserted into the text at reasoned intervals, that would be great.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I’d like to raise a practical question at this point.

    What will our friends at Amazing Grace Baptist Church in Canton, North Carolina do when we all move to digital books?

    Will they attempt to actually burn the computers and other hand-held devices involved (which would produce toxic fumes and probably create a localized environmental disaster), or would they just host a mass deleting of said files from the devices?

    Would people still turn out for chicken and all the fixings if it’s just a bunch of people clicking “delete”, and then, after being prompted, “confirm”? Kind of anti-climactic, really.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I’d like to raise a practical question at this point.

    What will our friends at Amazing Grace Baptist Church in Canton, North Carolina do when we all move to digital books?

    Will they attempt to actually burn the computers and other hand-held devices involved (which would produce toxic fumes and probably create a localized environmental disaster), or would they just host a mass deleting of said files from the devices?

    Would people still turn out for chicken and all the fixings if it’s just a bunch of people clicking “delete”, and then, after being prompted, “confirm”? Kind of anti-climactic, really.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Bryan,
    I know what you mean, but you forgot to mention the gratifying sensation of being wacked over the head with the book. Or the sound of the mouse squealing in the corner just with with the book one was currently reading to you.
    Book Burning. Yes how can we register offense when we can no longer burn the offending book.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Bryan,
    I know what you mean, but you forgot to mention the gratifying sensation of being wacked over the head with the book. Or the sound of the mouse squealing in the corner just with with the book one was currently reading to you.
    Book Burning. Yes how can we register offense when we can no longer burn the offending book.

  • Jonathan

    Amazing Grace Church could probably hold the event at a junk yard and use one of those giant electro-magnet cranes and call it a “Mass De-Gaussing of Satanic Digital Media” and then, just for good measure, they could toss all the stuff into the giant crusher-shredder machine. Now that would be cool–very Beavis & Butthead.

  • Jonathan

    Amazing Grace Church could probably hold the event at a junk yard and use one of those giant electro-magnet cranes and call it a “Mass De-Gaussing of Satanic Digital Media” and then, just for good measure, they could toss all the stuff into the giant crusher-shredder machine. Now that would be cool–very Beavis & Butthead.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Tell you the truth, Jonathan, I might attend that event, but then I am a bit of a Luddite. half of me is anyway. It is an inner struggle I have with technology. I love and hate it at the same time.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Tell you the truth, Jonathan, I might attend that event, but then I am a bit of a Luddite. half of me is anyway. It is an inner struggle I have with technology. I love and hate it at the same time.

  • Don

    I wonder if the same concern was voiced prior to the onset in technology of the printing press? What was lost in the communication when it migrated from verbal to written? Was the same lament proffered?

  • Don

    I wonder if the same concern was voiced prior to the onset in technology of the printing press? What was lost in the communication when it migrated from verbal to written? Was the same lament proffered?

  • fws

    i keep wanting to print out stuff that i really want to study and ponder. I am thinking about why that is…

    I think it is because I feel like I have a better sense of feeling oriented (as in “hmm i think that passage was on page 5 near the bottom of the page…”)

    on the other hand, digital media allows for word studies and searches, and allows one to cut and paste and so outline stuff.

    on the other other hand,when I was a volunteer literacy tutor, I learned that one should engage all the senses of the student: hearing, seeing, writing (tactile), speaking… the digital media might discourage this, but not necessarily so…

  • fws

    i keep wanting to print out stuff that i really want to study and ponder. I am thinking about why that is…

    I think it is because I feel like I have a better sense of feeling oriented (as in “hmm i think that passage was on page 5 near the bottom of the page…”)

    on the other hand, digital media allows for word studies and searches, and allows one to cut and paste and so outline stuff.

    on the other other hand,when I was a volunteer literacy tutor, I learned that one should engage all the senses of the student: hearing, seeing, writing (tactile), speaking… the digital media might discourage this, but not necessarily so…

  • Bruce Gee

    Incarnational reading! I sort of like that.

    Ah, the smell of old book stores. Walking the aisles, glancing at titles. Coming across something unexpected.

    Ah, the smell of tar and greasepaint and the sound of forecastlemen sanding the deck as the sun rises! The intense crazy activity as the cannon are run out!

    Don hits upon something important: if this is the cusp of yet another great change–such as was confronted when sailors were no longer subject to the vagaries of wind to get about the oceans–it is certainly worth inspecting. Not because the old is better or the new is faster, but because it probably changes the way we think. In some ways, Thomas Kuhn’s old book on scientific paradigms comes to mind.

  • Bruce Gee

    Incarnational reading! I sort of like that.

    Ah, the smell of old book stores. Walking the aisles, glancing at titles. Coming across something unexpected.

    Ah, the smell of tar and greasepaint and the sound of forecastlemen sanding the deck as the sun rises! The intense crazy activity as the cannon are run out!

    Don hits upon something important: if this is the cusp of yet another great change–such as was confronted when sailors were no longer subject to the vagaries of wind to get about the oceans–it is certainly worth inspecting. Not because the old is better or the new is faster, but because it probably changes the way we think. In some ways, Thomas Kuhn’s old book on scientific paradigms comes to mind.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I hear version 3.0 of the Kindle will contain a small, electronically-activated atomizer, into which you can insert a canister of “Olde Book Smell” perfume — available in packages of 10, from Amazon.com right now for 35% off plus free shipping for orders over $25.

    It will also ship with a flimsy dust cover that will sort of cling to the Kindle for a while, but eventually will fall off and get creased and ripped, causing you to throw it away.

    So, you know, we’re getting closer to the True Book Experience.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I hear version 3.0 of the Kindle will contain a small, electronically-activated atomizer, into which you can insert a canister of “Olde Book Smell” perfume — available in packages of 10, from Amazon.com right now for 35% off plus free shipping for orders over $25.

    It will also ship with a flimsy dust cover that will sort of cling to the Kindle for a while, but eventually will fall off and get creased and ripped, causing you to throw it away.

    So, you know, we’re getting closer to the True Book Experience.

  • http://www.fatherhollywood.blogspot.com Rev. Larry Beane

    I wonder if there was a similar culture shock when clay tablets were replaced by scrolls and when scroll technology itself gave way to individual leaves sewn between two covers.

    And so it goes…

  • http://www.fatherhollywood.blogspot.com Rev. Larry Beane

    I wonder if there was a similar culture shock when clay tablets were replaced by scrolls and when scroll technology itself gave way to individual leaves sewn between two covers.

    And so it goes…

  • http://www.geneveith.com geneveith

    Plato does warn that the switch to storing thoughts in books will reduce our capacity for memory. He was a good example of the new-media alarmist. But he was also right!

  • http://www.geneveith.com geneveith

    Plato does warn that the switch to storing thoughts in books will reduce our capacity for memory. He was a good example of the new-media alarmist. But he was also right!

  • Dan Kempin

    Oh yeah! I forgot.

  • Dan Kempin

    Oh yeah! I forgot.

  • http://ZIPPY1300.BLOGSPOT.com Danny BLoom

    Very good comments above, and the post itself. I have a special interest in all this because I was the one who asked the professor Dr Bauerlein at Emory, to write that blog, on that topic, and when he had time, he did. He had already, of course, been thinking along those lines for a long time, and he is himself the author of an important book about kids today and how they perceive the internet. See his name at amazon.com, it’s a long title and I forgot it all. But yes, his post was good and this post here was a good follow-up AND the comments here are wonderful!!!

    I am on a crusade. Of sorts. i am looking for a new word for reading on screens. Many words. May the best word stick. I started with screening. Some like it, some don’t. Then someone suggested “screading” to me, actually about 25 people independently of each other suggested the word screading. not me. i was sort of not used to it and portmanteau words are not easy to adopt all the time. I like screening because it’s about screens. The Boston Globe on June 19 had a good column by Alex Beam titled “I Scren, You screen, we all screen” about this very topic and also quoting Mangen. I have spoken with her by phone in Norway and emailed with her back and forth a few times. She is really a pioneer in this field. The fact she works and lives in Norway, although speaks and writes fluent English, got her PHD in California, married to an American man, but that she is in Norway, the US media ignores her. Her pioneering paper published in the UK in late 2008 should have been front page news in the New York Times, but does America even care what happens over its borders? Not much of the time. But one day Time or Newsweek will discuss Mangen too. She deserves a big audience. She’s a woman, so the media “authorities” don’t take her seriously, is that it? Maybe. Sigh. Sad.

    meanwhile, what other words might fit for reading on a screen:

    screening
    screading
    grazing
    diging (for digital reading)
    skimming
    scanning

    what else?

    DISH! or see my ideas here:

    link google “zippy1300″

  • http://ZIPPY1300.BLOGSPOT.com Danny BLoom

    Very good comments above, and the post itself. I have a special interest in all this because I was the one who asked the professor Dr Bauerlein at Emory, to write that blog, on that topic, and when he had time, he did. He had already, of course, been thinking along those lines for a long time, and he is himself the author of an important book about kids today and how they perceive the internet. See his name at amazon.com, it’s a long title and I forgot it all. But yes, his post was good and this post here was a good follow-up AND the comments here are wonderful!!!

    I am on a crusade. Of sorts. i am looking for a new word for reading on screens. Many words. May the best word stick. I started with screening. Some like it, some don’t. Then someone suggested “screading” to me, actually about 25 people independently of each other suggested the word screading. not me. i was sort of not used to it and portmanteau words are not easy to adopt all the time. I like screening because it’s about screens. The Boston Globe on June 19 had a good column by Alex Beam titled “I Scren, You screen, we all screen” about this very topic and also quoting Mangen. I have spoken with her by phone in Norway and emailed with her back and forth a few times. She is really a pioneer in this field. The fact she works and lives in Norway, although speaks and writes fluent English, got her PHD in California, married to an American man, but that she is in Norway, the US media ignores her. Her pioneering paper published in the UK in late 2008 should have been front page news in the New York Times, but does America even care what happens over its borders? Not much of the time. But one day Time or Newsweek will discuss Mangen too. She deserves a big audience. She’s a woman, so the media “authorities” don’t take her seriously, is that it? Maybe. Sigh. Sad.

    meanwhile, what other words might fit for reading on a screen:

    screening
    screading
    grazing
    diging (for digital reading)
    skimming
    scanning

    what else?

    DISH! or see my ideas here:

    link google “zippy1300″

  • http://ZIPPY1300.BLOGSPOT.com Danny BLoom

    Marc in Australia tells me:

    RE: ”Do we need a new word for reading on screens?”

    Dear Danny

    “I think it more likely that, seeing as in the future we probably will read more often from a screen than from paper surfaces of books or newspapers or magazines…probably what will happen is that some word or term will evolve to encompass the action rather than the action evolving a new word, and a retronym will arise for its superceded equivalent (think “acoustic guitar” or “film camera”). …..Thus, reading will still be “reading”, but reading a paper book may be…oh, I don’t know, but likely as simple as the examples given…something like “pbook reading” or “paper reading”. …….I guess we can hypothesize about future words, but I suspect we’ll no more control or even steer it than we do most developments and evolutions and contributions to language – it just happens. doesn’t it?”

  • http://ZIPPY1300.BLOGSPOT.com Danny BLoom

    Marc in Australia tells me:

    RE: ”Do we need a new word for reading on screens?”

    Dear Danny

    “I think it more likely that, seeing as in the future we probably will read more often from a screen than from paper surfaces of books or newspapers or magazines…probably what will happen is that some word or term will evolve to encompass the action rather than the action evolving a new word, and a retronym will arise for its superceded equivalent (think “acoustic guitar” or “film camera”). …..Thus, reading will still be “reading”, but reading a paper book may be…oh, I don’t know, but likely as simple as the examples given…something like “pbook reading” or “paper reading”. …….I guess we can hypothesize about future words, but I suspect we’ll no more control or even steer it than we do most developments and evolutions and contributions to language – it just happens. doesn’t it?”

  • http://ZIPPY1300.BLOGSPOT.com Danny BLoom

    And Mike told me re the same:

    “Danny,
    I’d say that reading on a screen *can* be qualititatively different than

    reading as we have understood it, but does not necessarily have to be. I’ve

    read narrative book-like material almost exclusively on screens for ten

    years and I am seldom distracted by links. I focus on the text, particularly

    with ebooks. But I know what you mean; different experiences are certainly

    possible and are becoming widespread and it is something different than what

    we have always called “reading” when you use a basic text more as a jumping

    off point than as a narrative.”

  • http://ZIPPY1300.BLOGSPOT.com Danny BLoom

    And Mike told me re the same:

    “Danny,
    I’d say that reading on a screen *can* be qualititatively different than

    reading as we have understood it, but does not necessarily have to be. I’ve

    read narrative book-like material almost exclusively on screens for ten

    years and I am seldom distracted by links. I focus on the text, particularly

    with ebooks. But I know what you mean; different experiences are certainly

    possible and are becoming widespread and it is something different than what

    we have always called “reading” when you use a basic text more as a jumping

    off point than as a narrative.”

  • http://ZIPPY1300.BLOGSPOT.com Danny BLoom

    And here’s my blog post on my crusade, maybe you blog about my idea, pro or con?

    Could scholars and neuroscientists (and bloggers!) benefit from a new
    word for “reading on screens” and what might that word be, in your
    opinion?

    A blog note by Danny Bloom in Taiwan

    I’m on a crusade of sorts to try to find a new word for “reading”
    on computer screens and Kindle and other e-reader device screens — other than
    “reading”, that is! — and I wonder if you’d join me in my quixotic quest.

    I’m pushing forward with my little crusade, step by
    step, despite the many naysayers, who keep telling me: “No, Danny,
    you’re wrong. There’s no need for a new for reading on screens.
    Reading is reading.”

    Sometimes I feel this word search campaign is like pushing a heavy
    stone up a steep hill, only to have it roll back
    a few feet every time we advance a few inches. But along the way, I
    have met some experts in the education and technology fields who have
    told me this is a good question to ask, and to keep pushing on,
    gently, quietly. So I soldier on.

    Although few people in the education and technology fields agree with me
    on this novel idea, but I remain determined. In fact, a
    few experts and forecasters around the world have told me privately
    that this crusade is worth it, if only to start a global discussion
    on the future of reading and the future of E-readers.

    Reading on screens is a whole new ballgame, I feel, and I
    believe Western culture needs a new word for this new human activity. It
    is more than just “reading”. On a screen, you scroll, you
    link, you see photos and videos, you use a mouse or buttons on a
    Kindle, and then of course, you read. This is
    reading-plus-one.

    So I feel we might need a new word for this, although I
    have no idea what that word will be in the end, because as many people
    have told me in the past year during the course of my crusade, new
    words happen organically and
    naturally, when the time is right, and when the need becomes more than
    apparent. So this is all just to jumpstart a good discussion, pro and con.

    I read, of course, on both paper surfaces and screens every day, and
    I love both.
    I am not a Luddite. I love technology as much as you do. One is not a
    priori better or worse than the other, just
    different, and we need to study these differences more with brain scan
    tests and other scholarly research. A new word might help us “see” the
    differeneces better. That’s my hunch.

    Some people online have suggested such words as “screening” and
    “screading”. Who knows which words we will adopt
    for this or when? I have no idea. I just like thinking about it now,
    and when the time is right, the new words or terms will come. One
    blogger told me we might even need two words for this, one for reading
    on computer screens, which are backlit, and another for reading on
    e-readers like the Kindle, which uses E-Ink for the
    screens.

    I am open to all suggestions for the new words, and I am very
    patient about this crusade, while at the same time steadfast and
    committed to this
    seeminly impossible word search. Patience is my middle name: Danny
    “Patience” Bloom (1949 – 2032).

    do you, dear reader, have any suggestions on this? All ideas are
    welcome, and all comments are welcome, too, both pro and con. Let the
    discussion begin!

    ————-

    Danny Bloom is an American blogger who has worked out of Asia since
    1991, where he maintains a blog

  • http://ZIPPY1300.BLOGSPOT.com Danny BLoom

    And here’s my blog post on my crusade, maybe you blog about my idea, pro or con?

    Could scholars and neuroscientists (and bloggers!) benefit from a new
    word for “reading on screens” and what might that word be, in your
    opinion?

    A blog note by Danny Bloom in Taiwan

    I’m on a crusade of sorts to try to find a new word for “reading”
    on computer screens and Kindle and other e-reader device screens — other than
    “reading”, that is! — and I wonder if you’d join me in my quixotic quest.

    I’m pushing forward with my little crusade, step by
    step, despite the many naysayers, who keep telling me: “No, Danny,
    you’re wrong. There’s no need for a new for reading on screens.
    Reading is reading.”

    Sometimes I feel this word search campaign is like pushing a heavy
    stone up a steep hill, only to have it roll back
    a few feet every time we advance a few inches. But along the way, I
    have met some experts in the education and technology fields who have
    told me this is a good question to ask, and to keep pushing on,
    gently, quietly. So I soldier on.

    Although few people in the education and technology fields agree with me
    on this novel idea, but I remain determined. In fact, a
    few experts and forecasters around the world have told me privately
    that this crusade is worth it, if only to start a global discussion
    on the future of reading and the future of E-readers.

    Reading on screens is a whole new ballgame, I feel, and I
    believe Western culture needs a new word for this new human activity. It
    is more than just “reading”. On a screen, you scroll, you
    link, you see photos and videos, you use a mouse or buttons on a
    Kindle, and then of course, you read. This is
    reading-plus-one.

    So I feel we might need a new word for this, although I
    have no idea what that word will be in the end, because as many people
    have told me in the past year during the course of my crusade, new
    words happen organically and
    naturally, when the time is right, and when the need becomes more than
    apparent. So this is all just to jumpstart a good discussion, pro and con.

    I read, of course, on both paper surfaces and screens every day, and
    I love both.
    I am not a Luddite. I love technology as much as you do. One is not a
    priori better or worse than the other, just
    different, and we need to study these differences more with brain scan
    tests and other scholarly research. A new word might help us “see” the
    differeneces better. That’s my hunch.

    Some people online have suggested such words as “screening” and
    “screading”. Who knows which words we will adopt
    for this or when? I have no idea. I just like thinking about it now,
    and when the time is right, the new words or terms will come. One
    blogger told me we might even need two words for this, one for reading
    on computer screens, which are backlit, and another for reading on
    e-readers like the Kindle, which uses E-Ink for the
    screens.

    I am open to all suggestions for the new words, and I am very
    patient about this crusade, while at the same time steadfast and
    committed to this
    seeminly impossible word search. Patience is my middle name: Danny
    “Patience” Bloom (1949 – 2032).

    do you, dear reader, have any suggestions on this? All ideas are
    welcome, and all comments are welcome, too, both pro and con. Let the
    discussion begin!

    ————-

    Danny Bloom is an American blogger who has worked out of Asia since
    1991, where he maintains a blog

  • http://ZIPPY1300.BLOGSPOT.com Danny BLoom

    What I am MOST concerned about here, which is why I contacted Dr Mark Bauerlein last summer and asked him if he could blog one day about these issues on his blog at the Chronicle of Higher Education — called BRAINSTORM — he is a professor at Emory University and the author of a very important PRINT book about kids today and how they perceive life in the Screen Age as screen-agers — a good book, amazon it for details and a summary, the title itself is worth remembering, but darn it, i cannot recall it this morning here in Taiwan as i lose more brain cells at age 60 and counting…. SMILE……but what I am most concerned about here and maybe Dr McCain can blog about THIS one day here is this: do our brains process, digest, analyze, retain and critically THINK about the text we read on paper surfaces differently from reading same info on a screen, even a lovely cool trendy sleek slim Kindle screen? My hunch is that future MRI brain scans will show the different parts of the brain light up when reading on paper vs reading the same info on a screen, and while the reading experience itself is not a priori better or worse, just different, I feel that in fact reading on a screen will prove to be INFERIOR to reading on paper, in terms of brain chemistry. We are waiting for these tests to be done. Watch. Stay tuned. Prove me wrong! I don’t mind being wrong. But i have a feeling I am on to something here, and this is NOT my idea, I have gotten this hunch after reading the material about Dr Anne Mangen in Norway. She is the genius here. IN ADDITION, i have asked a major national USA news magazine to think about doing a MAJOR COVER STORY about the neuroscience of reading on paper vs reading on screens and they have tentatively said YES to my cover story pitch — which THEY will write, not me, I am just a lone blogger in Taiwan, nobody cares what I think, and I am not a player here, just an interesed, some might say OBSESSED, hehe, observer. So watch for this major cover story in mid-2010 or so. They need 6 months or so to plan it, write it, edit it, set it up. Maybe an 9-page spread. About all these issues. pro and con. But mostly focusing on the science of it all, the brain science.

  • http://ZIPPY1300.BLOGSPOT.com Danny BLoom

    What I am MOST concerned about here, which is why I contacted Dr Mark Bauerlein last summer and asked him if he could blog one day about these issues on his blog at the Chronicle of Higher Education — called BRAINSTORM — he is a professor at Emory University and the author of a very important PRINT book about kids today and how they perceive life in the Screen Age as screen-agers — a good book, amazon it for details and a summary, the title itself is worth remembering, but darn it, i cannot recall it this morning here in Taiwan as i lose more brain cells at age 60 and counting…. SMILE……but what I am most concerned about here and maybe Dr McCain can blog about THIS one day here is this: do our brains process, digest, analyze, retain and critically THINK about the text we read on paper surfaces differently from reading same info on a screen, even a lovely cool trendy sleek slim Kindle screen? My hunch is that future MRI brain scans will show the different parts of the brain light up when reading on paper vs reading the same info on a screen, and while the reading experience itself is not a priori better or worse, just different, I feel that in fact reading on a screen will prove to be INFERIOR to reading on paper, in terms of brain chemistry. We are waiting for these tests to be done. Watch. Stay tuned. Prove me wrong! I don’t mind being wrong. But i have a feeling I am on to something here, and this is NOT my idea, I have gotten this hunch after reading the material about Dr Anne Mangen in Norway. She is the genius here. IN ADDITION, i have asked a major national USA news magazine to think about doing a MAJOR COVER STORY about the neuroscience of reading on paper vs reading on screens and they have tentatively said YES to my cover story pitch — which THEY will write, not me, I am just a lone blogger in Taiwan, nobody cares what I think, and I am not a player here, just an interesed, some might say OBSESSED, hehe, observer. So watch for this major cover story in mid-2010 or so. They need 6 months or so to plan it, write it, edit it, set it up. Maybe an 9-page spread. About all these issues. pro and con. But mostly focusing on the science of it all, the brain science.

  • http://www.fatherhollywood.blogspot.com Rev. Larry Beane

    One advantage of a paradigm shift might be getting rid of little kids with massive backpacks. Of course, I think the chiropractic lobby (is there such a thing?) might want to keep the tomes around for the kiddos.

  • http://www.fatherhollywood.blogspot.com Rev. Larry Beane

    One advantage of a paradigm shift might be getting rid of little kids with massive backpacks. Of course, I think the chiropractic lobby (is there such a thing?) might want to keep the tomes around for the kiddos.


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