Reading is changing, for sure. In the networks, obviously. But what does this mean?
I’m not sure if I embrace all the casualness in this piece on “networked reading” in The Guardian. But the short article certainly formulates several very important questions with regard to reading.
Reading habits are probably the next frontier in what is changing in the ecosystem of the book (and readers, and authors);
This change will be driven by readers networking their reading experience – plus thoughts, notes, references – through the (social) networks in which they are active;
Today’s biggest behemoths with their highly walled, closed gardens – Amazon, Apple, perhaps also Facebook – may lose ground here quickly; except if they just spend a few zillions to acquire all those new universes; but that would be both sad, and not really plausible;
The process will surely be disruptive for that late 19th century reading concept that overemphasizes the lone, solitary and individual book lover who gets lost in the text, without bothering to share the discoveries even with their closest friends; instead the other pactice of reading, as a magnificent generator of communication, will grow far beyond of what we know today.
But control – social control and mind control – will be a highly critical issue indeed.