I don’t read books. OK that’s not totally true, but I was thinking just now about how I very rarely read books these days. I used to read a lot of books, but now I can’t remember the last time I actually read a full one from start to finish, excluding textbooks or other study materials like the ones I used for JLPT a few weeks ago. It might have been as long ago as the spring, maaaaybe the early summer, when I went to the Chiba library last. I’m not including comic books or magazines in this either, although I read a lot of those, in both English and Japanese.
So I don’t read books, but I still read a lot. About 90% of what I read now is on a computer screen, either being news, personal and professional blogs, or other stuff you read online that is of another genre altogether. I live by Google Reader, and on average probably read at least 50 articles or entries a day. Sure a lot of them are short, but it adds up! I skim the headlines of around 4 or 500 entries a day, judging by the “unread item count” that Reader shows me whenever I log on. I go through everything fairly quickly, read or star the entries that most interest me, then mark everything else as read, allowing me to keep track of what’s new the next time I get on. (Am I using Reader wrong? Is there a way to mark stuff as not new, but not read?)
Anyway where I’ve been trying to get to after the previous 2 paragraphs of mental diarrhea is this: is not reading books bad? Sure I’m reading stuff, but what benefits do bound stacks of paper have versus images on a computer screen? I suppose I don’t read novels so much, either on paper or digitally. I don’t read things that are that long. Wait – maybe that’s what the difference is. Has my attention span shrunk so much by technology that I’d rather stare at stuff on my screen* than flip through pieces of paper? Digital stuff is so much more convenient and portable. And I know there are a lot of pretentious uppities out there who will say I’m less intelligent for not reading books, but these are the same people who read goth novels with no real value other than to look emo and boring at Starbucks. No thanks.
Just some random thoughts. I think I’m going to try and read more in ’09. Maybe that will be my resolution of sorts. But right now I need to get some sleeeeep. Get to da choppa!
*like you are doing at this very moment