Daily Links: How the Internet changed the way we read

daily_links_1Daily Links for day, January 4, 2016:

How the Internet changed the way we read (Daily Dot) – More on the concept of digital distraction.

GQ Tells Readers to Turn Off Ad Blockers or Pay Up (Fortune) – Do you want to read this badly enough to turn off your ad blocker?

Will 2016 be the year web advertisers realise we don’t want to be monitored? (The Guardian) – No, we all really LOVE ads!

“What Does My Site Cost?” Tells You How Much a Mobile Visitor Pays to See a Site (The Digital Reader) – Here is a way to find out if your website need to lose weight.

Amazon’s Other App Store, Alexa’s “Skills” Section, Has Quietly Grown To Over 130 Apps (Techcrunch) – Alexa, you sneaky girl! Did you know that the Amazon Echo had its own app store?

Deals of the Day:

Amazon’s Kindle Daily Deals includes The Choice  by Nicholas Sparks for $2.99.

Barnes and Noble Nook Daily Find is  PULP!: Two Thriller Novels and a Novella to Keep You on the Edge of Your Seat! by Vincent Zandri for 99 cents.The Romance Daily Find is Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller for $2.99

Kobo has Silver Palate Cookbook by Sheila Lukins and Julee Rosso for $2.99.

iTunes’ Weekly Sellers for Under $4 includes Jonathan Kellerman’s When the Bough Breaks for $1.99.

(A note on Daily Deals: All prices current at the time of posting and subject to change. Most items marked Daily Deals are good for only the day posted.

Many large promotions have discount pricing that is set by the publisher. This usually means that titles can be found at a discount price across most platforms (with iTunes sometimes being the exception). If you have a favorite retailer you like to patronize, check the title on that website. There is a good chance that they will be matching the sale price.)

Daily Links are interesting links I discover as I go about my online day. The frequency and number of links posted depend upon the daily news. I also post other, different links of interest on Twitter and on the Google Plus eBook Evangelist Page.

Are you having a problem reading?

books-1082942_640I ran across this article on Medium by Hugh McGuire, Why can’t we read anymore? Or, can books save us from what digital does to our brains? At first, I thought it was your typical print book versus ebooks screed. It turns out, its not, but I am not exactly sure what it actually is….

Last year, I read four books.

That’s a strange statement from the man who started LibriVox and Pressbooks, but there it is. He goes on to talk about concentration, digital distraction, dopamine and essentially digital addiction (without actually calling it by that name). He quotes a neuroscience study on multitasking (which turned out to be from a paid PR post).

His ultimate conclusion as to why he can’t read books:

  1. I cannot read books because my brain has been trained to want a constant hit of dopamine, which a digital interruption will provide

  2. This digital dopamine addiction means I have trouble focusing: on books, work, family and friends

Oh, yeah, and television is a problem, too.

McGuire goes on to talk about how he solved his problem, he can read again and it’s wonderful, etcetera….  And, BTW, he’s also starting an email newsletter about books that we can sign up for.

So here’s my confusion: I get that digital addiction is a real thing and that he had a problem with it. But that doesn’t mean that WE can’t read anymore. And I certainly don’t get how books are going to save US from what digital does to OUR brain. What is the benefit of turning what obviously is a personal issue into an TL;DR allness statement that claims-to-be-but-isn’t-really about the nature of books and reading? How is this OUR problem?

Somehow, I manage to muddle along, work on a computer all day, check my email and social media, watch an couple of hours of TV daily, write, blog, podcast and still read more than a hundred books a year. All digital books, too. And I am sure I am not alone.

How about you? Are you having a problem reading?