Several years ago Doug mentioned that he did most of his reading on his Kindle (he still does whether it’s on an actual Kindle or the app on another device) and that one of the blessings was the ability to quickly search for information while reading. Back in the “good old days” you had to remember what you were interested in, or confused about, and then look it up rather than quickly go to your browser and – voila! – answers.
My Kindle is rarely connected to wifi, and I use it mostly for longer articles (uploaded via Instapaper) and ARCs, but I take Doug’s point. The other day I was reading an ARC and wondered about one of the facts mentioned – I’m being a little vague because 1. it was an Alex book and 2. I honestly don’t remember exactly what it was I was wondering – so I picked up my iPhone and looked up… whatever it was. 30 minutes later, I’d found my answer, checked my email and looked at Twitter. 30 minutes later.
Which is, of course, both the blessing and curse of having one of those fancy ereaders that allow you to quickly go online: the rabbit hole and the added distractions. It’s one of the things that several of my star reading students prefer about print, that lack of distraction and the ability to focus on the book and world it’s creating. But if we’re being honest, the problem isn’t the device (or lack thereof) it’s more about willpower. Is your phone one of those always on, always notifying ones? Do you have a tablet right next to you? In the early days of ereaders, we didn’t have those additional tools and unless your laptop or desktop was always on, going online immediately was difficult. Today? Those 30 minutes I “lost” could easily become an hour… two hours… and then where was I in the book again? What exactly was going on?
My resolution for 2018 is to be less easily distracted from my reading. Who knows how much more I could read?!