Just read an interesting article in the Guardian Weekly by Sam Leith which although available on-line, I read on the paper version, being a quiet Sunday morning I felt like a more low-tech reading experience!
After reading the article I began to reflect on the central premise of the piece, and whether the "death of reading" could really ever be bought about by the introduction e-readers and e-books. I decided that this could only occur if we continue to see the two acts of reading in each different medium as the same thing.
By looking at reading in the two different mediums, one on-line digital text and the other paper-based text, as being different in their very nature and action, then this would dampen any debate about one replacing the other, as that could only occur if we assume that both acts of reading in the different mediums are the same.
I think the two different mediums contain enough different aspects to the act of reading so as to create an entirely new reading experience, which does not mean negating or 'killing' the earlier reading experience.
With an e-reading experience we can navigate through hyperlinked texts, verify, check, rearrange, re-present, add music, view earlier drafts, authors annotations, read about the context all relatively simultaneously. However in the other paper text based medium the reading occurs on a more 'linear plane' of individual engagement rather than the hyperlinked text experiences available through many e-reading practices.
I think if we look at reading in this way then the debate of one bringing about the 'death' of the other evaporates ....or at the very least diminishes!
Anyway, have a peek through the comments that follow the article too, there are some good points made and interesting links provided about this topic, which all make for a very different reading experience!
Image credit to : UW Stout Mobile Learning on Wiki spaces