Keynote by Annie Murphy Paul
The very limitations of the book are its strengths, according to journalist and author Annie Murphy Paul, speaking at School Library Journal’s 2013 Leadership Summit in Austin, TX.
In the below four-minute clip, Murphy Paul weighs the digital versus print reading experience, in responding to audience questions following her September 28 keynote (clip below).
Some evidence supports that a paper book does facilitate the reading experience, she says. But that could be due to adults who have grown up with the traditional medium, while younger readers may develop their own strategies for ‘mental marking.’
“More worrisome to me, says Murphy Paul, “is research suggesting that reading on a device that links out to the Internet is very distracting,” with the appearance of hyperlinks, in particular, presenting external choices that can disturb a reader’s focus.
“I always like to refer to the tale of Odysseus,” who ties himself to the mast to avoid temptation as his ship sails past the Sirens, she says. I consider reading a book “tying ourselves to the mast.”
“The only thing that you can do with a book is sit there and read it,” says Murphy Paul. “And that’s the wonderful thing that we all love about them.”
Here’s her complete keynote address: