I’d be less likely to read a piece online twice unless I really needed it for specific research, and rarely will I come back to something I’m reading online if I don’t finish it in one sitting. As for the way I write online, see above for the “shortcut” comments. I am pretty obsessive about checking to make sure that the copy is smooth for online sources, since there is little editorial control over most online publications. On top of that, sources (galleries, artists, institutions) are much more likely to speak up loudly if something is incorrect online.
Ha, this is a bit of an Ouroboros question, as I think that my online reading habits have so drastically affected my offline reading habits that I can hardly distinguish the two. When I sit in my armchair to read a book, it generally takes fifteen or twenty minutes just to settle into the text – to close the phantom windows in my mind and prepare for the fact that all future inputs will be found on the page.
This is a fairly disillusioning experience – and, as I’ve come to realize, an inconvenient one. I was once that masochist who enjoyed the hours spent transcribing my marginalia from physical books; these days, if I can find the book on my e-reader, I’ll opt for it, even if I’m rereading a well-thumbed text collecting dust on my bookshelf. I’m aware that my reading acuity drops when I’m only highlighting PDFs, but hey, technology is fulfilling its promise by saving me time, right?
Yes and Yes.
I think I’m a more active reader online, and I’m not sure how that translates to attention. In some ways, I’m more attentive: If I question something I’m reading, I can take a minute to look it up. I can leave the text to verify what I’m reading. If I think I’m not getting the full picture or need more background info on something, I can look into it and then go back to the text. It’s easy to put that on the format and say that editorial processes are less rigorous for online publications so I question them more, but I don’t think that really holds up.
As a writer, the editing experience doesn’t seem to be impacted by whether I’m writing for an online or print publication; it’s just about who you’re working with and the priorities set by the publication. Some like it fast and cheap, others are more rigorous. You can choose what to read and who to write for, but that’s sort of it. The publications determine their own priorities.
No. They are different things. When I have a copy of a magazine, I sit and read it cover to cover, it is indulgence, I love the smell of paper, the image reproduction, the form, I am definitely a fan of print culture. In fact, I am a huge advocate for preserving and saving it. For example, I loathe e-books, here, you have no room for marginalia, indentation, physical wear and tear, and lived experience; I am not simply being romantic here, its a different relationship to writing – in print, writing is a formal physical material in a way it simply isn’t online.
This is a tricky two part question! I do think I pay equal attention to both on and offline content I read. Though when I’m really wanting to read something online I tend to print it out at work for the subway/bus. That’s where I get most of my reading done, so I like to have a variety of different kinds of material to draw from when I’m in transit. But, when it comes to attention, I generally think I balance that pretty well between on and offline content. In other words, I have just as many tabs that need reading as I do magazines/books that I haven’t opened (though I’m proud to be relatively up to date on my New Yorkers).
In terms of personal experience to online publications affecting my writing I’d say absolutely. But again, I think this happens more on an editorial side than on my own persona writing side. Some personal experiences tend not to go very well with particular kinds of publications. I think I have a pretty particular way of writing/researching/thinking but sometimes that style doesn’t fit the context I’m publishing in. So, although my personal experience affects my writing, I don’t know always know if this comes through after the editorial process. Mostly it does, but occasionally it doesn’t. I think a lot of times I’m writing in a style that comes from particular kinds of writers that I admire, especially depending on the kind of piece I am writing. For instance, when I’m writing something more fiction based, I write with particular people (or voices) in mind. When I’m writing critically those people (or voices) change. That personal experience then definitely informs the way I’m writing.
I like to read on a device because it’s pretty lightweight. However when it comes to really dense things like Derrida, I have to be able to make notes with a pen. No other interface has really substituted for that. But I have been reading online for a long time and I don’t mind it. I can read most scholarly texts or Twitter online. I love reading Twitter and it definitely changes my writing.
I pay attention to online publishing in a different way, because I’m an online publisher. I look at things thinking what’s working and what’s not. Print publishing is something I’m not planning to do myself, so it’s more about just reading. I don’t care about the details as much. There is always an assessment involved in reading online publishing.
I think the reading experience of print will always be better and I can focus better on it. However, its reach is limited. I think my writing online is shaped by the publications I read and the editors and other writers I talk to online all day. The writing is a kind of social product.
I do pay as much attention to what I read online as in print. Over the years I’ve found that it’s become easier and easier to pay attention to what I read online, particularly with the assistance of apps like Reability and Instapaper, and even white noise generators.