Young Adults Are Reading More Than You

Great column in a series over at McSweeney’s on the state of publishing. There’s a reason why I’m working on a young adult novel.

On Literacy In Cyberspace

A great article by Kevin Kelly about literacy vs cyberspace. The main focus of this article was to see the comparison with offline reading and online reading.

I do understand the problem. How does reading a novel in your bed compare to reading blogs through your RSS reader?

First of all, blog readers do follow a lot of blogs. By itself, this means that they aren’t reading every single word. Personally, I tend to separate skimming blogs and reading blogs. Blogs that I read and blogs that I skim.

Why?

Not everything is worth to be read. I will read most of the personal blogs, but sometimes they digress and I skim. Most of the blogs I read for work are skimmed. Starred and shelved for later use once something interesting is found. Personally, I find it much more productive to do this through feeds, instead of newspapers.

I don’t think this type of reading compares with reading a book. What we can compare is reading a ebook on a computer/laptop/PDA and reading a book.

I don’t really skim anything that I read in that fashion. I usually prefer buying books in the physical sense, but after the first few hundred books, reading gets expensive, especially if you buy hardcover novels. Ebooks are cheaper and easier to get. I don’t particularly like reading them on my computer though, but hey, it accomplishes what I set out to do.

There is something pleasurable and analog about getting a good book with a cup of tea and leisurely reading. Recently, I’ve read about 5 books in the last week. Some of them physical, some of the electronic.

I think that the most important thing when you get ready to read for reading, is to not be distracted by anything else. By this, I mean that you shouldn’t really read ebooks while being logged on the internet. I disconnect and concentrate solely on the book.

This isn’t always easy, especially when you work from home as a freelance blogger, but it gives you a good respite and refreshens your creative juices. Over the weekend, I’ve managed to read about 4 books. I also got a lot of work done.

My love for reading was fostered at a very young age, when I saw my mother reading voraciously. She in turn taught me the value of reading. Ever since I was a child, I have been reading… voraciously. In time, I developped a personal taste. My mother continued to move on in life, and has now become a published author, which is something I want to accomplish as well.

There is no point in really going on about how fast I read. I do read fast. The better the book, the faster I will read it. There are probably a lot of people out there who read faster than I do.