During the week, 5 AM is my rise and shine time. Wednesday, September 17th was no exception. Before brushing my teeth, I turned on WNYC. Manoush Zomorodi, the host of New Tech City was doing a piece on The Neuroscience of Why You Can’t Finish A Novel Anymore. I rushed into the kitchen to turn up the volume on the radio. Synchronicity happens a lot, I guess, but not so much to me.
The night before, I went to the opening of Julie Bena‘s T&T Consortium: You’re already elsewhere at French Institute Alliance Francaise (FIAF). At least I thought I was going to an art opening. It turned out that Tuesday night was Open House at FIAF. One could take a mini French lesson, enter a photo contest, consume wine and cheese at a tasting, attend the screening of Mississipi Mermaid with Catherine Deneuve and Jean-Paul Belmondo, have your makeup professionally applied, consult a Pilates pro about your posture and finally taste Harmless Harvest Coconut Water. What more could one ask for?
The fact that I had skimmed the email announcement led to my surprise at the evenings events. My reading had changed from linear to non-linear. Zomorodi asks: have you read something recently, like a novel or story from the New Yorker? You tried to read it. You couldn’t get through it…Do you notice when you are reading, you have a harder time paying attention?
Yes! Yes! Yes!
Has the shift from paper to digital changed the way we read? Zomorodi explores this idea with Marianne Wolf, Director of the Center for Reading and Language Research at Tufts University. The ability to “slow” read as well as skim read is called the biliterate brain. According to Wolf it’s not easy to maintain. I have succumbed to skimming. It’s pretty disturbing. Wolf’s solution: use or lose it! I guess those New Yorkers, piled up next to my bed, are going to get a workout after all.