Thoughts & Tips On Digital Reading
Friday, March 10, 2023
Photo by Frank Holleman on Unsplash
In a recent episode of Cal Newport's The Deep Life Podcast -- Episode 238: The Joys Of The Reading Life -- Cal provided his well-thought-out ideas on how to have a deep reading life and how that intersects with our digital technologies.
I agree with Cal that reading deeply needs concentration and is free from distraction. Physical books are excellent for those that want that experience.
I also agree that reading on the Kindle (or other dedicated eBook readers) can be a deep reading platform. My Kindle Paperwhite is my primary device for all my reading with my eyes. [NOTE: Listening to audiobooks is reading. Don't get me started.]
He is also correct that reading on most people's standard mobile phones or digital tablets like an iPad is not a deep reading platform.
If you do end up reading on a phone or tablet, here are my recommendations.
My phone already has very minimal alerts, but with a quick swipe, I turn on "Do Not Disturb." And in my Kindle application on the phone, I have changed the background color (Layout > Page Color) from white (default) to green. The other options are: tan, white, or black. I'd choose tan if you don't like the green color.
I find having that green background - uncommon like the tan - tells my mind that I am now in reading mode and not scanning mode (like with a white or black background). This lets me read more deeply when I don't have my Kindle and only my phone. Once I finish reading, I turn off "Do Not Disturb."
Reading on my iPad is more straightforward, as I have 'Do Not Disturb' always on. And I am only reading content on my iPad with colors: comic books, WWII books with maps, Star Wars guides, recipe books, etc. I don't change the background color on my iPad.
Thoughts? Comments? Feedback is always welcome!