And now we know what we already felt

Why Don’t We Read So Well on Screen
University of Stavanger (12/11/08) Toft, Trond Egil

Reading on a computer screen creates more brain stress than reading the same text on paper, wrote the Center for Reading Research’s Anne Mangen, a professor at Norway’s University of Stavanger, in an article for the Journal of Reading Research.

In her article, “Digital fiction reading: Haptics and Immersion,” Mangen said that touching and turning physical pages enhances a person’s ability to absorb information, while reading on a computer disturbs that process.

Mangen says that reading on a screen causes a new form of mental orientation that causes the reader to lose the completeness, tranquility, and constituent parts of reading a physical text. Mangen believes that learning requires time and mental exertion that new media forms cannot provide.

Many people argue that children read less, and less well, than previous generations, but Mangen argues that even if young people do not read as many books as previous generations, it is still possible that they are actually reading more than before, as most of what they do on a computer or mobile device involves reading and writing in some manner.

However, she notes that some researchers believe that we obtain a greater and more thorough understanding from reading text on paper, as we are not distracted, even subconsciously, by the navigation bars and banners that appear in online and electronic content. She says the most important difference is that when a text becomes digital it loses its physical dimension, which is unique to printed text, and the reader loses a feeling of totality.

Need some ideas

Dear smart friends and family:

I need something to read, preferably in audio format for my fricking two hour daily commute. I’m mostly need ideas on What’s Good, and my far, far favorite genre is hard sci fi. Any suggestions? Please? With Sugar on it?

The other thing: What are you watching on TV that I need to be TiVOing? I know Lor hates Sarah Connor, but I’m kind of enjoying it. Part of the fun is making rude comments about Lena Headey and her oh so corny come-hither attitude about everyone and everything. I know, that’s a dumb reason to watch it. But I like Summer Glau (how do you pronounce her last name??) and I almost like Thomas Dekker. Especially when he’s jonesing for Summer. Summer’s ballet is rather nice, too.

I’ve been watching Carpooling, that’s pretty funny in a male humor sort of way. I watch Hotel Babylon which is The Love Boat on dry ground (right down to the music) except for better character development.

And Medium. I like that show. I like the characters. It’s almost always interesting and I like watching the family interact. (In my mind’s eye that pudgy middle kid looks and acts a whole lot like I did when I was that age.) I like that Patricia Arquette’s weight goes up and down and nobody particularly seems to care. I love Anjelica Huston, ever since Prizzi’s Honor when she painted the lines under her eyes to get her dad to lean on Jack Nicholson. [She looked kind of sick on the last Medium I saw, I hope it’s nothing permanent.]

I like House, the episode right after the SuperBowl and then the very next one were stellar. Maybe his best yet.

I used to watch Lost but I lost interest in it. The premise of putting in the code periodically was just too dumb for me after a while. No accounting for taste, right? I mean, I watch Reno 911 sometimes and laugh my ass off if I’m in the right mood. That’s as tasteless as it gets. The movie made me pee myself.

I watched Eureka for awhile, but it’s too sugary most of the time. We watch Men in Trees on the treadmill in the morning. And whatever else there is available.

Don’t suggest reality shows, I can’t take them at all. Idol, gag me. We watch about an hour of TV on weeknights, but some nights we don’t watch TV at all. The only shows I mentioned that I’d miss if they were gone are Medium and House. And maybe not House. Oh, fuck it, it’s just TV and I don’t really care that much about ANY of it.  So much so, that I had to go back and edit this to say Like where it once said Love.  Cuz Love is too strong a for any of it.

I want Californication back, and I want Weeds back. What else am I missing?