How Shorter Attention Spans for Reading
Even Affect Those Who Are Paid To Do It
'When I was a kid, maybe 12 or 13, my grandmother used to get mad at me for attending family functions with a book. Back then, if I'd had the language for it, I might have argued that the world within the pages was more compelling than the world without; I was reading both to escape and to be engaged. All these years later, I find myself in a not-dissimilar position, in which reading has become an act of meditation, with all of meditation's attendant difficulty and grace. I sit down. I try to make a place for silence. It's harder than it used to be, but still, I read.'
--from The Lost Art of Reading, an eye-opening piece by L.A. Times book editor David Ulin, who admits that even he has trouble focusing long enough to read books anymore. We recently had a small conversation here about Twitter, attention spans and A.D.D., but this extraordinarily honest piece should grab the attention of all serious readers. Do you think it's more a sign of advancing age on his part (we don't know his age, but we'll try to find out; one would assume he's not young) or part of a larger rewiring of our brains by a faster, image-addicted culture? We'd love to hear your thoughts. And please note the LAT's new website design, just launched in the last 24 hours. We're saddened that the trend toward plainer, (what we consider) uglier web designs with less color continue to make their inroads all over the web. For me, it makes for a slightly less interesting experience. Finally, you can review earlier entries about the joys of reading here, here, here, here, here and here.