What a big year for me! Being a library from the B.C.E days, this was such a great experience! Making the jump into books about digital and books in digital form was a completely new opportunity for me. It really took me out of my box, a box that I was not prepared to get out of, but glad I did to further enjoy my time in this class and to maximize the amount I have gained and learned.
At the very last moment, on Sunday, I changed my topic for my final paper. Why? When doing my research I found myself more drawn to illustrations that contibuted to the work as a whole rather than take away from it. This is why I wanted to write about the benefits of pictures in children’s books and research the different types of illustrated children’s books. I also was able to collect a lot more on the topic, than my previous topic of books tranformed into pieces of art.
So with all this thought and talk of physical books versus digital, how good Dances on Draxghr is, lending my physical copy to a stranger and then having to more or less hire a motley crew to chase this stranger down to return my physical copy of Dances on Draxghr (which was almost totally destroyed by the way), I’ve forgotten one of the most important things in life right now: I’m a college student.
A word to the wise: when your professor asks you where you’ve been and where all your overdue homework is, maybe avoid saying that you skipped town chasing after a relic of the distant past.
My final project has been interesting for me. While I am glad I am going back to my library days and using actual, tangible books in my project, it is also book as art, which means a lot of the times the conent is destroyed. I struggled for a lot of years about the burnging of my books and now I am writing about essentially “destroyed” books. It is quite ironic.
Because this class serves both the english major and the digital studies minor, we have a special opportunity to hear from both ends of the spectrum in regards to this digital vs. print discussion. I find a lot of value in both and cannot say I am one-sided on the issue. I am a digital studies minor and I am not great at finding hidden context or references, so hyperlinks and more insight is helpful for me, but I see a lot of value and have a lot of admiration for those who excel in close-reading and can dive into the materal on a much different level. I have an extreme appreciation for our class discussions because of the chance to hear from so many perspectives and personalities.
I think that close reading is a skill that has to be developed over the years. It’s why we push reading programs for children, especially over the summer, so that they can keep developing their skills. We do this so that by the time they get to high school they can start fully developing these close reading skills and be better prepared for college when they need to be able to quickly read and analyze text every day.
I think that it is 100% possible to read too much into a text. If you over analyze a text, you will end up missing what the author intended for you to take away. If you think too much into it, you could end up changing your perception of whatever you are reading and changing it to whatever lens you came into the text with.
For my final project, I decided to explore the end of reading. Seeing as Emily Dickinson is my sister, I personally don’t believe the end is near, but I have noticed a strong decline in the way people read. Gone are the days where we read newspaper articles to get the news. I have been told that in the future, many get their news strictly through headlines with little bits of information via twitter.
I’ll keep you updated on my research since much of it is going to be from the future.
Until next time,
I AM SO GLAD PROFESSOR WHALEN PROVIDED US WITH THIS ARTICLE. Not only does it speak volumes to me because of my love for print text and discomfort with technology, but I think it highlights the value of the tangible artifact itself. The pages can be just as much art as the text on/inside them can. That is part of the reason I was so destroyed when my books were destroyed in the fire. I am also excited because this is the topic of my paper!!! So now I can add another FANTASTIC reference to my bibliography!
-Library of Alexandria
As we witness the transformation of book reading from print to digital, a lot of mixed emotions come with it for me. I am not usually old-school in my way of thinking, but so much of my day-to-day assignments, interactions, etc. are completed through a phone or a computer. I think print allows me to escape that world for a little. When I read books digitally, they are grouped into that clump of everything I do online. Print books keep away from the chaos. At the same time digital books offer opportunities that print books never could, like links to definitions, related essays, and essentially all the hyperlinks that Katherine Hayles discussed in the hyper reading portion of the How we Read article. I am conflicted. Luckily, we still currently have access to both.
Zotero is so helpful! I have really liked working with it so far. Before, how I did research, was to just bookmark every page I used, and often would leave them all up in my browser (inevitably slowing it down as well) until the paper was over. This is a much better alternative. I never had cite my sources, usually I use a website like citation machine, but Zotero is better at getting the information than citation machine is, so it makes for even less work for me, which is always appreciated!