The Future of Reading


Art by Ernesto G.

Digital Reading – Wandering Thoughts?

My most current list of articles on this topic can be found  here – InstaPaper Reading

I am very interested in reading comprehension as it relates to text read online. I will use this page to assemble articles that deal with the topic.

I hope anyone who happens across this page  will share relevant citations and/or links to articles on the net or available via databases.

In no order at all – here is what I have found so far:

Coiro, Julie. “Reading comprehension on the Internet: Expanding our understanding of reading
comprehension to encompass new literacies.” The Reading Teacher Feb. 2003: 56-61.
Reading Online. Mar. 2003. 24 Oct. 2008

This article includes a lengthy bibliography. Both the articles and its sources are a little dated at this point. There must be something newer out there.


I run across lots of articles about the end of the book.  But those articles now are often centered around the Kindle the Nook or the iPad.  Guess what – it’s not the end of the book at all.  Folks love books so much – they needed their technology to love them as much – or more.  So – no more lamenting the demise of the book.  Not going to happen.  They will just get better with technology that has been designed with books and people in mind.

What I wonder is….. What is going to happen to libraries.  The well- heeled can afford to purchase the gadgets and purchase the books – at whatever the going price settles into, once Amazon and Apple quit arguing.  But what about those who can’t afford to download everything they want to read?  Or the ones like me, who love to read, could afford to purchase the books – but just don’t WANT to spend the money on the books they will probably never read again.  And what about the F2F social experience of a real live library?  Gotta do some research…..


The Future of Reading – My Delicious Account Bookmarks.  I plan to tag all the articles I find under “future of reading.”

See also sources below for items listed awhile ago.

Birkerts, Sven. “The truth about reading: it’s easy to blame technology for our younger generation’s declining interest in literature. But what, if anything, can be done about it?.” School Library Journal 50.11 (Nov 2004): 50(3). Business and Company ASAP. Gale. Gananda High School. 30 Apr. 2009
Gale Document #: A124941809

Lake, Julie, and Gary Small. “Our brains on Google.” The Atlantic Oct. 2008: 10. Student Resource Center – Bronze. Web. 9 Apr. 2010.( a response to “Is Google Making Us Stupid?)   Gale Document #: A191426413

Wikipedia hoax points to limits of journalists’ research

A sociology student placed a fake quote on Wikipedia, only to see it show up in prominent newspapers, revealing that a lot of the press doesn’t go much further than most ‘Net users when it comes to researching a story.

I use Wikipedia myself.  I support my kids using it – with qualifications.  I try to make them understand that it is a jumping-off point – and should never be the center of serious research.  As librarians, we can “not allow” it to be used, and preach the “evils” of Wikipedia – but people ARE going to use it.  For that reason, I teach my students how to use it skeptically.

Nevertheless, incidents like this are a big concern.   With all its wonders, I often fear that the internet is contributing to rampant lazy research in and out of schools.  Expressing these worries often results in derision.  Luddite being a popular accusation.  I cringe when I hear that word.  It is often a way to marginalize those of us who have feet planted in BOTH worlds – the new 21st Century Literacy and the more “traditional” approach to reading and research.  I LOVE the new tools we have at our disposal.  I LOVE the expanse of the internet, with its seemingly limitless ability to expand our thinking.  I see the benefits of skimming the surface of knowledge and the perspective that provides. I once saw surfing the net compared to riding a Jet Ski.  But what about deep sea diving?  We have become so distracted and addicted to speed, that I have to wonder what might happen to deep reading and deep thinking.

I had hoped that the print news at least would maintain research standards – but they are only as good as their individual reporters.  Also, given the precipitous drop in their revenue, newspapers are cutting journalists and  research budgets.  If newspapers die, I wonder how long it will be before the bloggers are all blogging about whatever the other person is blogging and that other person is blogging complete fantasy “news” – because there are no more paid journalists doing real primary research for anyone to blog about.

Well – that’s my quota of curmudgeonliness for the day =)

3 thoughts on “The Future of Reading

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