Conference Opening Session
Session coordinator: Vladimír Karen, Albertina icome Praha s.r.o.
Time and venue: May 24, 10:30 AM - 1:00 PM, Vencovsky Aula
Reading in the Digital Age
Jiří Trávníček, The Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic - Institute of Czech Literature, Czech Republic
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This contribution will discuss the relationship between reading as a traditional human behaviour and the digital age as a modern challenge. These observations are presented from the point of view of somenone who is neither a technologial optimist nor a technological pessimist. What kind of relationship have we to do with? Struggle? Partnership? Convergence? Is the digital era really an entirely new phenomenon or is it only a prolongation of tendencies which we have witnessed in previous ages? Some data coming from the second representative survey among Czech population (realized 2010) will be presented. These data show that reading and digital environment are not enemies. There is a parallel between strong readers and regular internet users. The reading gap and the digital gap are not, however, the same. Internet changes our ways of reading; but this change is rather quantitative than qualitative. In addition to that, the author intends to show some historical parallels to the current time. In this view, internet is only the last part of the chain „script – book – letterprint – mass reading“. Digital revolution enlarges frontiers of our reading culture, but not its very nature. Reading in its traditional (linear) nature does not cease to be the key qualification within our culture.