September 10, 2010
The stigma of reading alone
by Dennis Johnson
We don’t link to New York Times stories too often, mostly because everyone else does, and we’re looking for a different (smarter) perspective. But this gem by Austin Considine that appeared in the Times while we were on hiatus has given us pause to consider — it either shows why you shouldn’t read the Times, or why you should, we can’t decide. It’s about how ebooks can help you to finally overcome the isolation of reading — or, as the article puts it, how ebooks have “helped banish social stigmas about reading alone in public.”
As, well, a dermatologist explains,
There may once have been a slight stigma about people reading alone, but I think that it no longer exists because of the advancement of our current technology, she said. We are in a high-tech era and the sleekness and portability of the iPad erases any negative notions or stigmas associated with reading alone.
As Open Letter publisher Chad Post noted in a comment on his blog, Three Percent,
A stigma about people reading alone? Do most people read together in groups? I think I’ve been doing this all wrong . . .
Dennis Johnson is the founder of MobyLives, and the co-founder and co-publisher of Melville House. Follow him on Twitter at @mobylives