As of February 4, 2012, I’ve read a total of 10 books. I think that alone should earn me a nice pat on the back. Because honestly, how many people do you know read 10 books in one month? (Note: I started this project a little after the 1st of January, so it’s about a month into the project) Feel free to one up me and leave a comment boasting about your reading skills or a friend’s!
Right now we’re in a period where we’re slowly, but surely, transitioning from reading things in print, to reading online or on electronic devices. Nicholas Carr (who has a blog called rough type) wrote an article for the Atlantic Monthly, called “Is Google Making Us Stupid” (I promise, that title has nothing to do with the article; it was a poor choice. But he writes about how, with the advent of new technology, people are having more and more difficulties being able to focus on something for more than a minute or two. He writes about about the reading we do on the internet is so different than the reading we do offline, that it’s made us more impatient and unfocused.
For example, writing has become what Guy Patrick Cunningham would call “fragmentary”, roughly meaning that the writing we do on the internet isn’t the basic block of text that we see in books. Writing on the internet is peppered with thousands of links throughout the text which successfully temps the readers into clicking, and thus pulling them away from the original article. Now news websites and magazines online have started publishing abstracts on their pages to give the reader a quick snippet of what the story’s about without having to read it. Wikipedia does the exact same thing with the first paragraph that often gives a summary about what the topic is about. The internet is saving us from having to do all the “work” that goes into reading, and giving us distracting, short blurbs about what we want to know.
So it’s no wonder people don’t read anymore. Anyway… The original point of this post was to write down what books I’ve read so far and what books I’m reading now for Project 100. I plan to give my thoughts on each of the books in future posts, so look forward to that!