Reading in the Digital Age

The new book by @gerhardlauer challenges “the gloomy song” “of the end of the book and the end of reading” (p. 222).

Particularly, I liked the recurring emphasis on “the cultural technique of mastering the switching” (p. 51) between the different formats, “the fluid switching between these modes of reading, […] organ stops of reading” (p. 171), “the metacognitive capabilities: to know which reading mode is suitable for which reading” (p. 170). Also, how we “become symbiotic with our computer” (p. 72).

Lesen im digitalen Zeitalter

The most interesting new thing I learned was the historical role of the “immersive, self-absorbed reading that is fevered with its heroes.” (p. 36): It was “the ideal way of bourgeois individuation and thus also the necessary condition for the implementation of a bourgeois public.” (p. 36); “Books and the bourgeoisie are relatives” (p. 37).

This is a better explanation for why immersive reading is so much idealized, better than arguing if it is really so uniquely valuable.

(All translations are mine and unprofessional.)

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