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Wednesday, 30th December 2009

NPR: How E-Books Will Change Reading And Writing

This report by Lynn Neary includes an audio component that lets you to listen to the story.

[Snip]

"When printed books first became popular, thanks to Gutenberg's press, you saw this great expansion of eloquence and experimentation," says Carr. "All of which came out of the fact that here was a technology that encouraged people to read deeply, with great concentration and focus. And as we move to the new technology of the screen ... it has a very different effect, an almost opposite effect, and you will see a retreat from the sophistication and eloquence that characterized the printed page."

As digital platforms proliferate, writers are trying to figure out how to use them. Novelist Rick Moody recently wrote a story on the social networking site Twitter. Moody says he got intrigued by the idea of writing in abbreviated form to fit within the 140-character limitations of each Twitter post.

[Snip]

His flirtation with Twitter was not entirely successful. The delivery of the story went awry, and some industry insiders were bombarded with repetitive tweets. Still, Moody doesn't regret the experiment. But he does have doubts about Twitter's literary potential.

[Snip]

Apart from Twitter books and cell phone novels, Grossman, who is also a novelist, says the real challenge for writers is electronic-book readers like the Kindle. He says the increasingly popular devices force people to read books in a different way.

"They scroll and scroll and scroll. You don't have this business of handling pages and turning them and savoring them." Grossman says that particular function of the e-book leads to a certain kind of reading and writing: "Very forward moving, very fast narrative ... and likewise you don't tend to linger on the language. When you are seeing a word or a sentence on the screen, you tend to go through it, you extract the data, and you move on."

Source: National Public Radio


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