We're reading more than ever before - no surprise for bloggers?
The BBC report on some research from Manchester University, which shows that we are reading more books than newspapers or magazines, and reading more than ever before.
For me this is not a big surprise, but it's nice to have the data to back up the hunch. Since I stopped working an 8-4 / 9-5 day in one place and started communicating online, through blogs, instant messager, Skype or wikis, I've never read more than I do now.
And, funnily enough, the amount of offline time and downtime on public transport or between chunks of work in the day has increased to allow more time for reading books throughout the day, even though the working day has become much longer. I'm feeling more and more like those bookworm Parisians on the Métro.
The thing is, I get just as much quality and enjoyable material from my blog browsing on the old feedreader as I do from the printed books I get stuck into (and have to pay for). Some of those even have their own blogs, with development of the content taken further. Many of the books I read are also ones sprung from the writing of a blog I've followed for a while
Has the evolution of the blog, in fact, led me to read more offline? Absolutely. But I'm also aware that I'm reading more books that others in the teaching profession wouldn't touch, because they're neither overtly about the teaching profession (no bad thing), nor are they pulp fiction for the weekend.
My Facebook profile and the profiles of others is taking this one step further, with the Visual Bookshelf, a set of book covers and buying information, just in case. I can see what those I admire or respect are reading and have a look in myself. You can see what I'm reading or what has informed the decisions I've taken, ask questions, ask for mini reviews even - provided you're a friend.
The social in social media has taken book reading from a private pass-time to a public, sharing, collaborative venture, and for education, this can only be a Good Thing.