Digital Indigestion Coming to a Screen Near You

As technology continues to make reading more accessible, I’m coming to the realization what I really need is either more hours in the day or a little pill designed to relieve my discomfort.

Our house is filled with books, magazines and newspapers. Peek inside most every room and you’re likely to find a little space sequestered away for a comfortable chair and stack of books. Reading, in our home, is kind of a mini retreat – a quiet place to get away and get lost between the covers.

But now the world of technology is threatening this simple formula.

I’m pretty much like the rest of the population and found myself welcoming digital reading products into my world. As a matter of fact, I’ve both an iPad and a Kindle reader. The purchasing assumption, of course, was grounded in how these devices would make my life ‘easier’.

Well, so much for that theory. I think I’m wrestling with a case of indigestion of the mind.

Today my world is filled with even more access to reading, and to thirsty reader, this is like turning a kid loose in a candy store with $50 cash. And to add to my affliction, publishers’ are responding by putting even more content out for consumption on digital devices. For those of us who can’t seem to get enough, this could become overwhelming.

Got a book you’d like to read but don’t have time to go to your local bookstore? Simply open up your e-reader or tablet and in moments you’re connected to a digital destination. With a simple click of key any book you’ve ever dreamed of reading can be digitally downloaded onto your device of choice in mere minutes.

Furthermore, publishers are now taking advantage of ‘push’ technology or a subscription model so you literally don’t need to raise a finger to get the content on your device. No longer to do I need to ‘go out’ and find the website for the New York Times – it is magically delivered to my Kindle each day.

Today’s world is literally overflowing with opportunities to read or consume content – and some of us are in danger of choking on characters and digits.

My original Kindle will hold approximately 1,500 non-illustrated books. The Kindle 2, on the other hand, claims to hold over 3,500 similar titles. While this number is enough to make me choke, Apple raised the ante to a mind-numbing 28,000 titles for it’s current top-level iPad unit.

Add to this the number of books and magazine websites I read on my phone while waiting for something or another and no wonder my brain at times feels as if it is about to explode.

Where I once felt learning to read was a critical skill, I now wonder if learning to manage intake is the next logical – or survival – skill needed to manage this new world. Because without learning to control my urges to read, I’m probably setting myself up for an extended bout of consumption indigestion.

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