Cognitive Surplus and The Shallows

I am currently reading Cognitive Surplus by Clay Shirky. I’m about a third of the way through it, and I hope to post a few thoughts here when I have time to set them in electrons.

Book CoversI also bought The Shallows by Nicholas Carr, which I will read immediately after Shirky’s book. I imagine that I will be somewhat more angry after reading Carr, but that’s generally how I feel after reading something he’s written about the Internet. I expect it from him.

You can credit Nieman Journalism Lab with getting me to buy Carr’s book. On the lab blog, Matthew Battles is writing ongoing reviews of both books as he reads them (in five parts, as of this writing — 1 2 3 4 5) Battles has inspired me to do my own “reviews” — or at least thoughtful write-ups. I hope this will get me back into an academic frame of mind; since leaving grad school, that sort of deep analytic reading and writing has fallen by the wayside.

I should also mention that I bought both of these books not on paper but in iBooks. This will be my first serious experience in reading a book entirely in an electronic format. I’ll share some thoughts on that as I go along too. So far, so good.

(The above image is borrowed respectfully from the Nieman Journalism Lab.)