Fingers and eyes

Actions to do with reading have now become digital, in the literal and metaphorical sense. Fingers, like mouses and keyboards, have become vital tools in an age of touchpads and e-book devices. How has this new form of technology-driven mediation modified our behaviour and habits in terms of reading? Isn't there a risk that the progressive, planned obsolescence of the printed word, like developments in other key media such as printing or television, might bring about a new cognitive ecosystem, causing significant changes in the way we read? While there is little point in indulging in paranoia or nostalgia, it is still worth exploring the practice of reading as a gesture, a form of entertainment, and a skill. Above all, the article asks whether digital reading is not a new weapon in the armoury of those determined to fit us all in one easily manageable consumerist mould.