If you havn't picked up on it already you need to sort out your rss feeds. But there's been a really interesting debate breaking out about whether the internet changes the way you think. I've missed the moment but have been meaning to join in for a week or so. It started with Nicholas Carr in The Atlantic suggesting Google (now a synonym for the web) might be making us stupid. Actually his argument is more subtle but reflects what a number of others have observed: regular web reading and browsing makes it harder to concentrate on a tough read in a book. Among those to pick up on it were Bill Thompson who seems to conclude that rather than changing our brains, online culture simply makes us lazy. Along the way he cites John Battelle's repudiation of Carr and cites Susan Greenfield's book suggesting that screen culture is less enriching than the pages of a book. A theme picked up by John Naughton in The Observer, and doubtless a few others I've missed, who suggests it's not a question of good or bad - just evolution.
Nothing very new here. My father had a book given to him as a boy on "the Art of Reading" - collected lectures from Arthur Quiller Couch - in an attempt to encourage concentration and serious study and combat what he called his "butterfly mind" (he would have been at home on the web). Serious instruction is an impulse which still lingers in some quarters.
For my part, I definitely find it harder to read than I used to but put that down to lack of time and fatigue. My kids spend less time reading than I did at their age - but then they have much more choice. I do think that the linking culture on the net, whilst wonderful, encourages a superficial engagement with subjects rather than immersion. (Take this topic for example!).
When I read a book I also make connections, but they take longer and are deeper to come to fruition. So reading Tony Judt's latest book on the Twentieth Century, for example, will take me a week but will plant thoughts and connections which will take several more weeks to uncover or get round to reading in turn. But I will understand a lot more than I would from scanning some links and Googling. No problem with enjoying the benefits of both of course.
Maybe after calls for slow-food and slow-journalism it's time to remind ourselves about slow-reading.