I'm asking you to do something we're all used to doing now, but which is in fact quite new: read on screen.
By putting in those links, I'm encouraging you to do what the author of the piece in Wired calls horizontal reading. I'm actually suggesting you leave my piece and go elsewhere, perhaps never to return.
It's a risky thing for a writer to do, but even if I didn't put in those links, any writing I do online is at the mercy of a hundred and one potential distractions.
I'm entering this arena in the full knowledge that you may wander off at any moment. But what happens when texts that were written to be printed are read online, or on screen? I'm thinking in particular of eBooks.
My brother, who travels a lot, uses a Kindle. He says that on the one hand, he loves the instant gratification of being able to think of a book, and start reading it a minute later. But on the other hand, he says that when he's read it, he doesn't feel as if he has.
Is it that reading on screen is such a different experience (although we are hardly aware of the difference), that the end result is also quite different? Is it because, as the author of the second piece linked to above says, we are not reading a text on screen, but through a screen? And does this make the experience shallower?
By the way, I want to avoid a value judgement here, so let me say now that shallowness can be a good thing, especially when you're learning to swim. As perhaps we all are right now.
Anyone care to comment about their experience of reading eBooks or on screen generally?
Opera, Rome, Burgundy, David Bowie, London, Roast Pork , The Grateful Dead, New York, Raspberries.