Thursday, November 8, 2012

Reading in parallel

I have a Kindle Fire, which is especially useful for bedtime reading with the lights out, so I only read it at the days end, lately the Histories of Livy, an almost free download and pure Roman propaganda.  When I take it to the toilet I often switch over to LanguageHat postings or archives.   On my smart phone I read my history and language newsgroups.  At my laptop I read some other type of webbing.  This modern niching of reading devices leads one to multitask ones reading without really trying.

The benefit turns out to be ones thinking is hybridized or made a salad, modes and ideas go bump.

The detriment is slow progress on any one text.  I'm far too distracted by this device or that to focus on one text.  It took me six months to get through Gibbon's History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire on the Kindle Fire at bedtime - though it's been surprising how fast six months goes in the aarpic years.

The ancient and the modern have a pleasing dialogue when viewed from the ease and comfort of the modern, if the crush and weight of the modern hasn't disabled your distance vision.