How we read

In (Hayles 2010) Hayles criticize studies that report a decline of reading capacities due to a decrease in paper reading and an increase in digital reading. She talks about three types of reading: close reading, that is deep academic reading; hyperreading, that is the way we read on the web, scanning the content and moving through different documents; and machine reading, that is the analysis of text, done with computer software. She advocates for a synergic use of these three types of reading as each one has specific characteristics and they complement each other; hyperreading allows for a quick exploration of the studying materials, while machine reading make possible the discovery of patterns in large amount of text that otherwise could not be considered.

For study and research is now possible to access a lot of material online, that can improve the qualities of the result and increase the possibilities of new discoveries. But this is true only if the student or scholar has the skills to scan through them quickly and efficiently in order to find the more relevant and reliable ones on which to concentrate for a deeper reading.

In the same way having the possibility to analyse the text with compute software can bring to light information about the text that could not be discovered with a human only analysis.


Hayles, N. Katherine. 2010. ‘How We Read: Close, Hyper, Machine’. ADE Bulletin, 62–79. doi:10.1632/ade.150.62.

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