I’ve tried really hard to be a good online reader. I’m fine with a short piece – maybe up to 5 pages. I often use reader or acrobat for annotations and highlighting which provides a way for me to go back to collect and look at my comments. For the Belshaw book, I forced myself to read online and I feel that my work really suffered. Often when I read a short article online, I’ll read it all the way through and then go back and make my annotations and notes. With this longer format, I didn’t feel like I could do that so I just plowed ahead. I found it very hard to concentrate and felt I kept scrolling back and forth, losing my place, reading things over again multiple times. I didn’t feel like I was making any connections and I didn’t feel like I had the time to slow down and start over.
I feel my responses were disjointed, contradictory, and shallow. I still have a lot of questions, and if I’m able to go back to read the entire work again, I hope that will be beneficial. Like Belshaw said in the introduction, it isn’t a difficult book to read and it isn’t very long. I just feel like I would have absorbed more with something in print. I’m guessing you picked this book for its content, not because it was a long digital document. Because of the format, and that it was a challenge for me, that was another element that added to my thinking about digital literacies.
Future folk: if you also find online documents difficult, do make and attend and stick with it. It will be a good challenge for you. Anticipate spending more time then you might reading a print book. If you’re also taking notes online, it works better if you either have two monitors (one for notes, one for the book) or if you’re using two devices. It is hard to switch back and forth.