Saturday, July 26, 2008

I almost read the whole thing

The NY Times wonders if reading online replaces the real thing.
On one hand, struggling readers can get a start, but reading on the Internet doesn't replace immersing oneself in a book.
I think the main point is made by a guy who likely knows the lay of the land as well as anyone, Dana Gioia of the National Endowment for the Arts, who said,
“What we are losing in this country and presumably around the world is the sustained, focused, linear attention developed by reading,” said Mr. Gioia of the N.E.A. “I would believe people who tell me that the Internet develops reading if I did not see such a universal decline in reading ability and reading comprehension on virtually all tests.”
Put me in full agreement on that, but I'm not about to tell a concerned parent that nothing can be found online to at least give a kid not taken with books a prayer either.
Speaking strictly as a bookseller however, it's not complicated folks. Parents who read and are seen by their kids reading, generally don't have to work at getting their kids to read.
You know who you are.

Stuff like this makes me worried, but I try to be a bit even handed. One of my favourite people doesn't bother, and he makes for much more entertaining reading than anything I'm coming up with.

Posted by David

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