Last week I facilitated a book discussion for people who work in libraries on the book, The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr. It was a very lively discussion centered on Carr’s idea that prolonged use of the Internet is causing our brains to change. Carr suggests that the result of this change is that it has become more difficult for humans to engage in deep, contemplative reading. The Internet has become a “distraction machine” and society may suffer over time. His suggestion is to take time out every day to practice reading the printed word.
In an article on Inc.com writer Nicolas Cole listed his favorite novels that spark creativity. Cole writes, “Reading a masterful novel and immersing yourself in the story is a workout for your brain. You’ll be amazed how much richer your creativity will be after finishing a classic piece of literature.” The idea that by simply reading you can feed your creative juices seems to support Carr’s theory that the printed word exercises the parts of the brain that encourage deep thinking.
Do you have a list of books you turn to when you are stuck in a creative rut? Please share with the other LL&F readers.