Re: Annie Murphy Paul, “Reading Literature Makes Us Smarter and Nicer”

Thank you to Pam for bringing this to my attention:

“Deep reading” — as opposed to the often superficial reading we do on the Web — is an endangered practice, one we ought to take steps to preserve as we would a historic building or a significant work of art. Its disappearance would imperil the intellectual and emotional development of generations growing up online, as well as the perpetuation of a critical part of our culture: the novels, poems and other kinds of literature that can be appreciated only by readers whose brains, quite literally, have been trained to apprehend them.

I’m not sure what to say, except I’d like a billion dollars please. I should add that if you go to the article and see more of the author’s contentions, I’m not sold on this whole “reading makes you ethical” argument. It’s nice hearing there’s some research indicating reading makes people become more empathetic, but I go to a school that’s all close reading all the time. Take a wild guess how many open minds I deal with.

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