My World of Reading… Part II

This post is the continuation of My World of Reading… Part I.

Two months have passed since this post, I am continuing to read more and more.. almost exclusively in digital form now… books… RSS reader… via apps… on Twitter…  I want to tackle and document the following questions, originally from Ryan Bretag  in his post Reading Digitally: Exploring the World of eBooks.  He is continuing to explore the questions he poses on his own- Evaluating eBooks, ePubs and book apps

Are the habits of reading evolving with the web and digital content?

Reading has taken on the form of a continuum. Looking back on the way it used to be, reading seemed “limited”, with a beginning and an end. You started a book and it came to an end. This was specially hard for me, when I wanted to read books in German while living in Argentina or the USA. I had only a limited amount of books available to me at a time, the ones a visitor had brought with them or the ones I had carried over in a suitcase while I was visiting Germany.  I remember holding myself back to read slower, to savor the pages longer, to make the reading extend for a longer period of time. It was definitely a “finite” experience.

I heard a quote, unfortunately I don’t know the original author (if someone knows the name, please let me know) , that states something to the effect of

A period used to tell us when to stop reading, but hyper-linked writing shows us how to continue…

I no longer run of reading material, in any of my  languages, any more. Via the web or via eBooks, I have an unlimited amount of reading material. The feeling of being able to continue reading at my own pace and according to my interests, as well as connect content that I had never intended to look for or set out to find.

My reading habits have changed and are continuing to change  since I am reading mostly digitally now. I read more, I annotate more, I save, curate and disseminate more. I was/am not the kind of book owner that bends the corners of her physical books, nor writes into them. I am freed from that restrain with my digital reading material. I highlight, bookmark, save quotes and share what I read at my heart’s content.

So in that sense, not only have my reading habits evolved due to  the increased access to reading materials, but also due to the connectedness to further content ad more resources as well as connect to other readers.

What happens to reading when readers have access to their own personalized device?

Personalization is defined as “made for or directed or adjusted to a particular individual“. When something is individualized for ME, it automatically increases my motivation and engagement.

Having my own reading device (iPad), that I don’t share with anyone, allows me to:

  • not having to wait or negotiate my turn to use it
  • have it available to me anytime and anywhere
  • customize it to my needs
  • increase the amount of my reading, due to its size, mobility and customizable settings
  • set up RSS feeds via apps that customize a constant stream of information that is already filtered for my interests, tastes and needs.

So what happens to reading when all of the points mentioned above fall into place? Reading seems more fluent, less interrupted to me. Reading extends into multiple directions and allows me to connect different strands. FlipBoard is one of my favorite apps to create my own magazine style reading hub.

Since the device (iPad in my case) is personalized and constantly growing, I gain fluency by knowing how to use different apps to expand my reading experience. An app, like Instapaper for example allows me to save articles, posts and websites to be read at a later date. Authorizing  my device to other network platforms, makes it as easy as clicking a button to share and disseminate. My RSS reader app, Mobile RSS, allows me to forward articles via email, disseminate to my network via Twitter and Facebook, and to save, organize and store for later retrieval via Instapaper, Delicious and Evernote.

Using an app that allows for annotations, such as GoodReader for example, changes the dimensions of my reading as well. I can highlight, underline, point too, add typed or handwritten notes, then easily share the annotated version of a document with others.

My reading has not only changed by moving from analog to digital reading, but I am discovering new dimensions as well due to the personalization options on my device.

How about you? Are you being conscious about your changes as a reader? What have you observed?