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The Art of Reading - s3.amazonaws.com

I f youre reading this article in print, chances are youll only get through half of what Ive written. And if youre reading this online, you might not even finish a fifth. At least, those are the two verdicts from a pair of recent research projects – The Art of Reading, or Rules for the Attainment of a Just and Correct Enunciation of Written Language: Mostly Selected from Walker's Elements of ... to the Use of Schools (Classic Reprint)
The Art of Reading - s3.amazonaws.com

The art of reading, or rules for the attainment of a just and correct enunciation of written language



I f you're reading this article in print, chances are you'll only get through half of what I've written. And if you're reading this online, you might not even finish a fifth. At least, those are the two verdicts from a pair of recent research projects – respectively, the Poynter Institute's Eyetrack survey, and analysis by Jakob Nielsen – which both suggest that many of us no longer have the concentration to read articles through to their conclusion.

The problem doesn't just stop there: academics report that we are becoming less attentive book-readers, too. Bath Spa University lecturer Greg Garrard recently revealed that he has had to shorten his students' reading list , while Keith Thomas, an Oxford historian, has written that he is bemused by junior colleagues who analyse sources with a search engine , instead of reading them in their entirety.

So are we getting stupider? Is that what this is about? Sort of. According to The Shallows , a new book by technology sage Nicholas Carr, our hyperactive online habits are damaging the mental faculties we need to process and understand lengthy textual information. Round-the-clock news feeds leave us hyperlinking from one article to the next – without necessarily engaging fully with any of the content; our reading is frequently interrupted by the ping of the latest email; and we are now absorbing short bursts of words on Twitter and Facebook more regularly than longer texts.

Which all means that although, because of the internet, we have become very good at collecting a wide range of factual titbits, we are also gradually forgetting how to sit back, contemplate, and relate all these facts to each other. And so, as Carr writes, "we're losing our ability to strike a balance between those two very different states of mind. Mentally, we're in perpetual locomotion".

Still reading? You're probably in a dwindling minority. But no matter: a literary revolution is at hand. First we had slow food , then slow travel . Now, those campaigns are joined by a slow-reading movement – a disparate bunch of academics and intellectuals who want us to take our time while reading, and re-reading. They ask us to switch off our computers every so often and rediscover both the joy of personal engagement with physical texts, and the ability to process them fully.

"If you want the deep experience of a book, if you want to internalise it, to mix an author's ideas with your own and make it a more personal experience, you have to read it slowly," says Ottawa-based John Miedema, author of Slow Reading (2009).

Reading ( / ˈ r ɛ d ɪ ŋ /  (   listen ) RED -ing ) [5] is a large, historically important minster town in Berkshire , England, of which it is the county town .

It is located in the Thames Valley at the confluence of the River Thames and River Kennet , and on both the Great Western Main Line railway and the M4 motorway . Reading is 70 miles (110 km) east of Bristol , 24 miles (39 km) south of Oxford , 37 miles (60 km) west of London, 14 miles (23 km) north of Basingstoke , 12 miles (19 km) south-west of Maidenhead and 15 miles (24 km) east of Newbury as the crow flies.

The first evidence for Reading as a settlement dates from the 8th century. It was an important trading and ecclesiastical centre in the medieval period, as the site of Reading Abbey , one of the richest monasteries of medieval England with strong royal connections, of which the 12th century abbey gateway and significant ruins remain.

By 1525, Reading was the largest town in Berkshire, and tax returns show that Reading was the 10th largest town in England when measured by taxable wealth. By 1611, it had a population of over 5000 and had grown rich on its trade in cloth. The town was seriously affected by the English Civil War , with a major siege and loss of trade, and played a pivotal role in the Revolution of 1688 , with that revolution's only significant military action fought on the streets of the town.

The 18th century saw the beginning of a major iron works in the town and the growth of the brewing trade for which Reading was to become famous. The 19th century saw the coming of the Great Western Railway and the development of the town's brewing, baking and seed growing businesses. During that period, the town grew rapidly as a manufacturing centre.

Today, Reading is a major commercial centre, with involvement in information technology and insurance, and, despite its proximity to London, has a net inward commuter flow. It is ranked the UK's top economic area for economic success and wellbeing, according to factors such as employment, health, income and skills. [6] Reading is also a major regional retail centre serving a large area of the Thames Valley, and is home to the University of Reading .

I f you're reading this article in print, chances are you'll only get through half of what I've written. And if you're reading this online, you might not even finish a fifth. At least, those are the two verdicts from a pair of recent research projects – respectively, the Poynter Institute's Eyetrack survey, and analysis by Jakob Nielsen – which both suggest that many of us no longer have the concentration to read articles through to their conclusion.

The problem doesn't just stop there: academics report that we are becoming less attentive book-readers, too. Bath Spa University lecturer Greg Garrard recently revealed that he has had to shorten his students' reading list , while Keith Thomas, an Oxford historian, has written that he is bemused by junior colleagues who analyse sources with a search engine , instead of reading them in their entirety.

So are we getting stupider? Is that what this is about? Sort of. According to The Shallows , a new book by technology sage Nicholas Carr, our hyperactive online habits are damaging the mental faculties we need to process and understand lengthy textual information. Round-the-clock news feeds leave us hyperlinking from one article to the next – without necessarily engaging fully with any of the content; our reading is frequently interrupted by the ping of the latest email; and we are now absorbing short bursts of words on Twitter and Facebook more regularly than longer texts.

Which all means that although, because of the internet, we have become very good at collecting a wide range of factual titbits, we are also gradually forgetting how to sit back, contemplate, and relate all these facts to each other. And so, as Carr writes, "we're losing our ability to strike a balance between those two very different states of mind. Mentally, we're in perpetual locomotion".

Still reading? You're probably in a dwindling minority. But no matter: a literary revolution is at hand. First we had slow food , then slow travel . Now, those campaigns are joined by a slow-reading movement – a disparate bunch of academics and intellectuals who want us to take our time while reading, and re-reading. They ask us to switch off our computers every so often and rediscover both the joy of personal engagement with physical texts, and the ability to process them fully.

"If you want the deep experience of a book, if you want to internalise it, to mix an author's ideas with your own and make it a more personal experience, you have to read it slowly," says Ottawa-based John Miedema, author of Slow Reading (2009).



 
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