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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Reading More - But Differently

Several bloggers have picked up on a BBC News Piece - 'More reading' than in 1970s. The report's main point is that reading as a whole and reading of books has gone up:
One of the researchers, at Manchester's school of social sciences, Dale Southerton, said there was a popular perception that people were reading less but all reading had gone up, reading books had gone up the most - and there were 17% more people reading them.
One of the more interesting posts about this comes from Ewan McIntosh - We're reading more than ever before - no surprise for bloggers?. He first points out that he as well reads more books than before. But, also adds:
The thing is, I get just as much quality and enjoyable material from my blog browsing on the old feedreader as I do from the printed books I get stuck into (and have to pay for). Some of those even have their own blogs, with development of the content taken further. Many of the books I read are also ones sprung from the writing of a blog I've followed for a while.
I think that most people who regularly read blogs and even more so if you write a blog, you find that you start to read differently including when you read a book. Probably the two biggest differences are:
  • Skim to find interesting content and then dive in.
  • Capture what make sense for me and likely for blog readers.
  • Fish around for other stuff on the same topic.
But what you find doing this is that books and even more so magazines often have very little content that has any depth. It's not a surprise to me to skim right past a bunch of blog posts looking for things that will be interesting. It is a surprise to skim through a whole magazine not finding anything worth capturing. Or even worse when it's a book. (Actually the worst is an hour long presentation - because you can't skim.)

My gut tells me that most everyone finds this experience over time, but I'm not sure I've ever had this discussion.

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