Has blogging altered your book-reading habits? Reading Kevin Drum’s post led me to examine my reading behavior. I believe that on an average bloggers who have at least 10-20 feeds if not more on their reading list are constantly inundated with stuff to read. If they add few heavily-updated blogs like Boing Boing, Tech Dirt, or Instapundit or even DesiPundit to their lists, then the content simply multiples manifold. If you read blogs off a feed reader like I do, then the constantly-updating ‘unread’ posts almost create a pressure on you to finish your quota. The urge to remain updated on the latest happenings in the blogosphere and the general world around you is killing. I have been away from my feed reader for couple of days and seen the ‘unread’ posts top more than 2000 posts and I almost feel guilty for changing their status to ‘read’. I almost never do that with personal blogs especially if I have been reading that blogger for a while now. What if I miss out on an interesting development that will make me appear obsolete? This is definitely getting freaky and borders on addiction.
On a more serious note, has blogging or reading blogs or for that matter, reading anything online affected your reading habits,especially book-reading habits? I generally prefer short posts and
anything on a blog that I have to scroll more than twice, I tend to skip (on a related note, I am trying to shorten the posts that I write too). I cannot read a book that runs into hundred pages online although I can comfortably read 40-50 page research articles. Does this proclivity for short posts affect your attention span? My book-reading habit has declined significantly and I have left many books incomplete on my bookshelf, hoping to complete them each night before I sleep.
This effort has been largely unsuccessfully so far (I am still trying). Unless the book is really engrossing, I find my attention wandering and I am not pleased by this. Previously, if I was bored out of my wits and had time on my hands, I would always find some book to while away my time; nowadays with a plethora of blogs, there is always something to read online. But as Kevin says, to get in depth knowledge of a subject, there is no substitute for books. Blogs can give your snapshot of information although insightful and well-referenced, it would do us no good if we didn’t grab a book for more.
So has blogging affected your reading habits?