The Three Dimensions of Reading from Alan Jacobs

Alan Jacobs recently gave a talk at Vassar College about the three dimensions of reading attention. He posted his slides and some comments to give commentary. The important insight of the lecture is that when discussing reading, it is not good enough to talk about either the attention of the reader or the differences between the codex or an ereader, but he suggests we need to discuss three dimension, Modes, Environments (for reading) and Devices on which we read.

I think his conclusion, that we can’t simply talk about how inattentive readers are now, or to argue for a particular device (the codex or the ereader). But we need to talk about all three dimensions together, the different modes of reading, the differences of reading in different settings, and on different devices and not required that only one combination is ‘good reading’.

The post is worth reading.

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