The irony of the first chapter of The Shallows by Nicholas Carr

Nicholas Carr opens up the first chapter of his book The Shallows with a fifteen-page explanation of why no one reads books anymore. I couldn’t help but laugh at the irony that I was sitting and reading a book about why no one reads books anymore.

But honestly, I think Carr was right. I can’t remember the last time I sat down to read a novel. I would much prefer to sit on a computer and quickly browse through articles, than sit down and pick up a paperback.

Why is it so much easier to read articles, blog posts, or news feeds online than it is to sit down with a book?

Perhaps I have become accustomed to receiving information immediately and as concisely as possible.  It is much easier to get the news by reading through tweets sent out by the New York Times than it is to pick up the actual newspaper. It is much easier to read a joke through a meme than it is to read a paragraph of just text.

But still, there is still something comforting and nostalgic about curling up on the couch reading a good book. That feeling can’t be replaced by a laptop….well, at least not yet.  

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4 comments on “The irony of the first chapter of The Shallows by Nicholas Carr

  1. i think it’s crazy that there is a possibility of books not being printed due to the use of online sources like Kindle and pdf versions. And even the size of a Kindle is the same as a normal book. But if bookstores such as Barnes and Noble are still able to run, we know that the feeling of reading a good book on a couch is still existent.

  2. I think its so true about finding stuff through Twitter. There really is no more need for a newspaper because it is much faster to find out information through social media sites. I think its kind of sad that were neglecting books more and more cause it is so nice to just sit down and relax and read and book and I think more people need that

  3. I completely agree as well. I don’t think people even read the news anymore. Their “news” is whatever is on Facebook. The only time I myself ever pick up as book anymore is when I need to study something out of a textbook. That also is starting to come to an end, because of how a lot of textbooks are now found online, such as a lot of the Biology books. Their PDFs are found everywhere as torrents.

  4. I was actually going to use that irony in my presentation tomorrow! Glad to see we have the same thoughts!

    Anyway, I completely agree 100% – Come to think about it, the only times when I actually read books are for classes. And half of the time, my attention span is all over the place, and I can’t focus on what the author is trying to say

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