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Stop Complaining That Being Online Keeps You From Reading Books! Instead, Read a Book.

Rewiring The Brain

The Internet is training our brain to adapt and work differently than in the last century, as the changing technological landscape requires different cognitive skills.

The new digital mediums mostly do not have the quality, as most of the stuff online seems uninteresting, but it has the quantity, making it even more discordant and chaotic.

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Stop Complaining That Being Online Keeps You From Reading Books! Instead, Read a Book.

Stop Complaining That Being Online Keeps You From Reading Books! Instead, Read a Book.

https://slate.com/culture/2018/08/reader-come-home-by-maryanne-wolf-reviewed.html

slate.com

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Key Ideas

The Lost Art Of Reading

In the digital age, where reading material is abundant, sustained and deep reading is falling out of favor. Readers have lost the 'cognitive patience' that they had reading complex works in the pre-internet age.

Deep reading, that was once natural, is now a struggle, thanks to the explosion of shallow material and reduced attention spans.

Reading In The Digital Age

New readers, especially children have reduced deep-reading skills.

Digital media is consumed differently in a 'skimming' time-bound way, as opposed to the profound, thoughtful reading associated with print books.

People have become addicted to digital devices, as the content they see and read may not be deep and immersive, but is engaging and conversation like, rendering it more alive than the printed word.

Rewiring The Brain

The Internet is training our brain to adapt and work differently than in the last century, as the changing technological landscape requires different cognitive skills.

The new digital mediums mostly do not have the quality, as most of the stuff online seems uninteresting, but it has the quantity, making it even more discordant and chaotic.

Junk Reading Vs Healthy Reading

The brain has been conditioned to feed on bite-sized snacks of shallow literature, and a reconditioning of the brain is essential.

The old-school print books were a way to slow down the mind, turning it less anxious and jittery, resulting in a satisfying trance-like experience, almost like a low-level meditation. We need to stop feeding our minds with disposable, junk knowledge and focus on developing it by reading healthy literature.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Reading in the digital age

Online life makes us into a new kind of reader: Our attention fractures. Online reading is about clicks, and comments, and points. 

The opposite of the traditional reading ex...

Not every emotion can be reduced to an emoji, and not every thought can be conveyed via tweet.

Not every emotion can be reduced to an emoji, and not every thought can be conveyed via tweet.

Cynical Readers

We have become cynical readers – we read in the disjointed, goal-oriented way that online life encourages & we stop exercising our attention. 

We read just as much if not more. We live in a text-gorged society in which the most fleeting thought is a thumb-dash away from posterity. It's how we read that changed.

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Tsundoku
Tsundoku

Many of us have a desire to read. We buy books, but then the demands of work and family catch up with us, and we never get round to reading the books. The Japanese calls it tsundoku

Finding the time for books

To give books the attention and time it deserves in your life, you need to make it a higher priority. It means you have to change your habits and routines to allow more reading.

Sometimes, your reading needs only a little encouragement to displace something that should be lower down on your list. For example, to forgo watching television and reading a book instead.

The reading habit: Succeeding long-term
  • First consider why you want to read more books. Reading should be enjoyable for you because you find them entertaining, calming, stimulating, and fascinating. Once the habit is set, you can also read other things you "should" read.
  • Change your surroundings to make it easier for you to grab a book. Reading apps can be prominent on your phone. Physical books should be in places that you most often frequent.
  • Create modest reading goals. Permit yourself to start with reading one page a day. Once the habit is established, you can increase it.
  • Once you have laid the foundation for your new reading habit, create an action association, such as reading on the train to work or with your mid-morning coffee or dinner.

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Skimmed Read

Reading is a complex process that involves the brain's visual and auditory processes, phonemic awareness, fluency and comprehension. There are billions of pages available to read online,...

Slow Is Good

The speed-reading habit is making us lose our deep attention and focus, gradually shunning denser, more complicated content. Instead of optimizing for speed, we need to optimize for comprehension, deep understanding, and retention of information.

Deep or slow reading, when the brain is attentive, absorbing, understanding and analyzing text expands our attention span and improves concentration and learning.

Better, Not Faster Reading

The brain develops stronger analytical skills and gets into critical thinking mode, forming new connections and even creates new ideas.

Deep focusing on a book is one of the best investments of your time.

Meta-Learning

It's knowing how to learn. Learning itself is a skill, and knowing how to do it well is an incredibly valuable advantage.

Merely acquiring information is not learning....

Learning has 2 phases

Learning is a two-step process:

  • Read/listen: feeding ourselves new information.
  • Process and recall what you’ve just ‘learned’: connecting new materials to what we already knew.
Remembering the right things

You should not waste your time by committing unimportant details to memory. 

Your focus should be on understanding the bigger picture, on how things relate to each other.

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The Shortest Answer To Faster Reading
The Shortest Answer To Faster Reading

Read. The more you read the more familiar you are with linguistic structures, contexts and content, which speeds up your reading. That’s especially true when learning new words or familiar w...

The Problem With Some Speed Reading Software

Software using rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) methods claim to eliminate unnecessary eye movements, thus increasing reading speed. It presents words above the average reading speed, one at a time, at a single location on the screen.

Unfortunately, experiments show RSVP software does increase reading speed, but subjects could only sustain reading at high speeds with good comprehension for short bursts.

The Flaw With Methods That Eliminate Regressive Eye Movements

This methods are supposed to let you read it right the first time, but regressive eye movements generate enhanced understanding beyond what could be obtained on the first pass.

Due to sentences unfolding linearly, often contrary to the messages they convey, rereading becomes necessary for proper understanding.

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Superbetter
Superbetter

In her book, 'Superbetter', the author Jane McGonigal, teaches us all a valuable lesson on how to overcome obstacles while having a gamer's mindset, as she is herself a game designer.

The black swan

In his book, Nassim Nicholas Taleb provides an insight into how crisis events occur, enabling the reader to reach a better understanding of the topic while empathizing and communicating more efficiently with the others.

The sirens of Titan

Kurt Vonnegut, well-known for his black comedy, debates over existential questions in regards to free will, destiny, and the meaning of life. 

 This is exactly the kind of lecture one needs in order to get his mind off what is happening around.

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Read To Be Hired

When hiring, managers look for hard-to-define or quantify skillsets in employees, like self-discipline, creative problem-solving, empathy, flexibility, rational judgement, and kindness.

A...

The Readers of Fiction

Top business leaders and CEOs usually recommend non-fiction books, however, studies point towards fiction as an effective way to enhance the brain's ability to keep an open mind while processing information, leading to effective decision making.

Non-readers often jump to conclusions, but the ones who invest in reading are more thoughtful, creative and comfortable with competing narratives and contradictory information.

Strategies speed readers use
Strategies speed readers use
  • Skimming: quickly going through passages to find the main points.
  • Meta guiding uses a pointer, such as your index finger or a pen, to guide your eyes along the lines...
Effectiveness of Speed Reading

Regardless of which reading method you use, the evidence points towards the fact that speed comes at the sacrifice of understanding.

Depending on what you’re reading, this might not necessarily be a bad thing: If you’re trying to get through a dry piece to capture a few key points or you are going through a short piece that’s easy to understand, speed reading strategies might make sense.

Make the most of what you read
  1. Choose different reading pieces for different occasions: articles and light reads can be reserved for short periods. Books that require less focus can be listened to in audio format etc.
  2. Incorporate reading into your daily habit: put a book on your bedside table.
  3. Share your reads with others, to help you to better understand and appreciate what you read.
  4. Reflect on your reading: take notes or check out films that are based on novels (to compare interpretations).
Unfinished Books

Due to unlimited distractions, shorter attention spans and increased boredom, we aren't finishing the books we start to read. Our impulsive and fickle nature is also to blame.

Add Some Variety

The mind needs variety and diverse types of stimuli at different times. Reading several books at once, of different genres is a smart way to be able to cater to the mind's different needs at different times. It is also a good idea to not have more than a few books in your current reading list. The recommended number is 3.

Let Go Of Certain Books

If reading a certain book is beginning to feel like a burden to you, you are free to let go. The reason can be any, but it is no use wasting your time in a book that isn't speaking to you.

Letting go of a book provides closure and unburdens your mind.

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Success And Buying Too Many Books

Many of us buy lots of books that go unread and causes us guilt, but that’s a habit that many successful people have they believe they are better off for it.

For those who actually put in the...

“I maybe start half the books I get, and I probably finish a third of the books I start. And that works out to finishing 1–2 books per week.” 

Patrick Collison, billionaire

“I maybe start half the books I get, and I probably finish a third of the books I start. And that works out to finishing 1–2 books per week.” 

Patrick Collison, billionaire

Reading Hack 1: View Books As An Experiment

It costs you money and time, but it may pay for itself by changing your life for the better. It’s an experiment. And the more “smart” experiments you perform, the more likely you are to find a breakthrough experiment that changes everything.

Inherent in being a good experimenter is being OK with the losses. Therefore, remember that every time you purchase a book that turns out to be a dud, you are just one step closer to a book that will change your life.

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