Independent Writing from an Independent Mind

Open discussion about writing and reading

Do you feel the need to read anymore?

I have always loved to read. As a child I read books, magazines, encyclopaedias and even catalogues. And as I grow older I find that I still love to read as much as ever – if not more. But I have been noticing a disturbing trend. My attention span is waning.

This is an especially disturbing trend to me because I find that it is disrupting on of the most positive activities in my life. The hours and hours that I spent in rapt pleasure leisurely reading my way to slumber has given way to hours and hours in front of a computer screen only to go to bed unable to sleep and leave bed in the morning with a headache (which I refer to as “cyberburnout”). I never felt time was wasted with a book but I often feel guiltily uneasy about my time on the internet.

I have a theory that this is down to the amount of time I spent at the computer. There are so many interesting and compelling pages on the internet that I find myself skimming from page to page to page. I get lost surfing.

In the past when reading books my mind would wander as well but the meandering was stimulated by the information laid out or the story being told in the book. My imagination would get a work out. Now though when I read books I am feeling a disturbing trend. My mind wanders to other things often related to the book only as a starting point.

My feeling is that web surfing is having a negative impact on my attention span.

Or could this be from something else?

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2 responses to “Do you feel the need to read anymore?

  1. mvs December 13, 2009 at 11:43 am

    I also try to reduce the time I spend daily on the web. I no longer do extensive reading on the internet and I cut down tremendously on my Twitter and Facebook time. I’ve also unsubscribed from many blogs and websites that used to send me updates by e-mail.

    For me, the internet has become just a good source of research (you can beat this one)!

    As for the pleasure of reading, I just went on a spending spree at JJ Market in Bangkok and came back home with 16 books of fiction and non-fiction. Great deals, by the way.

    Happy reading, all of you!

  2. Pingback: Still reading | A Writer's Journey

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