The Neuroscience of #Longreads and Skimming


There is a thing people do these days — most of the time actually, not just some of the time — it’s called non-linear reading.


NPR dives into this — in New York in fact, with a bunch of writers and bloggers in NYC like Maria Popova — to examine the nature of reading and what you can’t read anymore in the “non-linear” style.

Non-linear reading is what it’s like to read on the web. You read one tab of a browser, click a link, pop over to email, come back to the article.

It turns out people do the same in e-books.

In fact, it’s really just reading on paper books that totally grabs your attention and provides the contextual cues and structure to actually remember what you just read, and how it fits with what you are reading now, and to remember that whole package long after. A European study mentioned shows a massive difference in recall.

Check out the NPR piece here at WNYC

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