Bill Henderson, one of the co-authors of the book Book Love, which celebrates the printed book, notes that our techie-oriented society is literally changing the structure of our brains:
The e-experts said that in the future all information and literature would be available on the device of the moment (sure to be replaced by the device of the next moment). You may never have to leave the comfort of home or bed. The latest bestseller—indeed, millions of out-of-print books (you didn’t know you needed that many)—could be had at the click of a button. This was billed as an improvement.
Lots of people are making lots of money telling us this is for our own good. Tweeting away, we never stop to think. In fact, we may be losing the ability to think.
In The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains (Norton, 2010), Nicholas Carr notes that after years of digital addiction, his friends can’t read in depth anymore. Their very brains are changing, physically. They are becoming “chronic scatterbrains… even a blog post of more than three or four paragraphs is too much to absorb… .Because our brains can no longer think beyond a tweet, we can’t write well. And we can’t read well either. The idea of reading—let alone writing—War and Peace, Bleak House, or Absalom, Absalom! is fading into an impossible dream.
He also notes that you’re probably not saving many trees with your ebook reader. Why not? Well, click the link and find out. It’s not saving resources. In fact, it’s adding lots of toxicity to the environment.
Just some food for thought.
Happy actual paper book reading!