Contemplating his question I am Immediatly brought back to Bolter's observation between linear reading and associative reading. This type of reading, attributed to the use of hypertext, is definitely addressed in the article by Nicholas Carr, Is Google Making us Stupid?. The article addresses the fear that this type of associative reading is causing ADD like symptoms in our society's reading habits. Many of the people interviewed in the article find it impossible to read books anymore, they are to used to the quick linking ad sporadic nature of reading online. I'm not one to say that this is necessarily a negative thing, and in line with the technological determinist, I will say that it is nearly inevitable for humans to find themselves attracted to this type of quick associative thinking. But I don't believe that this type of thinking was created by our new use of the internet, as Bolter points out, it may be that associative thinking has always been the most natural way of thinking, and now we are coming to a new way of allowing our brains to do that.
But, to think that no one will read a book anymore is ridiculous in its own respects, but a few ideas must be addressed first that a few of the interviewers had in the article by Nicholas Carr. Bruce Friedman, a faculty member at the University of Michigan Medicine School, is quoted as saying "I can't read War and Peace anymore". This quote simplifies reading a novel way too much. First of all, War and Peace was never a leisure read in the first place. Even I, as an English Major, look at the book and shutter with fear that i may one day have to read it. Reading a book like that, or any novel like that is not easy, but when one sets there mind to it, it become something to be proud of, the reader gains a sense of accomplishment, has earned bragging rights. Of course your mind will wander during reading, every mind has, from the dawn of civilization to now. Its ideas from the book sparking other ideas in your head, it is your brain thinking associatively, its most natural way. But just because the internet provides an easy access to that way of thinking does not mean that people will quit reading books. I have never bragged to someone about flipping through Wikipedia pages, but I will certainly brag when I am done with John Steinbecks 600 page East of Eden. Maybe it is the linear way of thinking that is so alien to us, and if one is able to get through a tough novel, it demonstrates their ability to focus and maybe think in unnatural ways, but there is no doubt an associative element involved in linear reading. And maybe, just maybe, War and Peace isn't that interesting.