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The myth of the golden age of reading

Even before the digital age, book-lovers were always prone to distraction

By Sameer Rahim  
Young Girl Reading by Fragonard c 1770 © Wikimedia commons

Young Girl Reading by Fragonard c 1770 © Wikimedia commons

Attention spans are getting shorter. We no longer have the patience to read properly. The printed codex is a dead technology and the future is browsing ebooks and hyperlinked webpages. Listening to an audiobook isn’t as good as reading a proper book. These are some common arguments you hear. But are they right? Leah Price, an English scholar at Harvard, says we’re too quick to assume that there was a…

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