Reading online content exclusively can harm writing skills, a new study has found. GalleyCat reports that a study of MBA students looked at their reading habits and found those with higher writing scores regularly read academic journals rather than focusing on Internet content from BuzzFeed and Reddit....more
Posts Tagged: reading
Chicago libraries have an ambitious plan to give away more than a million children’s books this summer in an effort to combat intellectual regression that occurs in summer months when children aren’t in school. Every branch of the Chicago library is giving away books to children who sign up for the program....more
Readers, at least some of us, read to escape because we are afraid, because we feel separate and isolated, because the decibel at which we sometimes experience the everyday feels like too much. We also read to acquire the fortitude to “go back.”
Lynn Steger Strong writes for Catapult on creating reader-based prose....more
Finland tops the charts for most literate nation, with the United States coming in seventh. A new study looks not just at literacy rates but at literacy behaviors. These behaviors include counting libraries, newspapers, and years of schooling. Ranking nations based on reading assessment only would result in a very different list of top readers....more
In Chuj-Napoca, Romania’s second-most populous city, an initiative passed to offer book-reading passengers free bus fare during a week in June. The initiative was started by a local citizen’s suggestion on Facebook in the hopes of encouraging reading on public transportation....more
How do we reread and is it necessary? Tim Parks demystifies the art of going back to a text for the third, fourth and fifth time....more
Writers sometimes forget the importance of reading. Just about everyone who writes started out as a voracious reader, but working on the craft of writing ends up displacing time previously spent reading. Over at Dead Darlings, Kelly Robertson takes a look at the importance of continuing to read:
It is only by reading a lot can we really interpret what we learned in all of our classes.
More banally we may stand at the luggage collection carousel watching endless bags tumble onto the belt. We hold in our minds a shadowy idea of our own bag. Then suddenly it is there and the effort of “visualizing” ceases. Perhaps we realize that the bag is not quite as we remembered it.
There are many distractions in the modern world like television and listicles. As a result, people aren’t reading in the same way they did a half century ago, opines Oliver Burkeman at the Guardian. All is not lost. Aside from carrying a book around all the time, Burkeman suggests turning reading into a ritual:
…such ritualistic behaviour helps us “step outside time’s flow” into “soul time”.
Often I wouldn’t be able to keep up, like with Dostoevsky’s The Idiot, but it made it feel like a whole new world of books had been opened up to me, dangerous and menacing and completely appealing to my teenage self.
Photographer Lawrence Schwartzwald finds people reading just about everywhere. He’s been going around New York City, snapping pictures of people reading books in unlikely places. Slate caught up with Scwartzwald, who explains his fascination with people and their books:
You just get a visceral reaction, like writing a great story or reading one for that matter, there’s an emotional, psychological component to it that you sense and occasionally you’re able to capture it because sometimes you may have literally one frame to get it off and you either get it or you don’t.
Reading a book is wholly antithetical to the purpose of a bar. The purpose of a bar is to socialize, be it with friends, lovers, potential lovers or complete strangers.
Sean Manning is endorsing quite an unpopular position over at The Huffington Post: as romantic as it sounds, bars are good for writing, but not for reading....more
But if a novel starts well and descends into trash, then it seems to me that it’s worth continuing to see if it gets better, or to see where the writer went wrong. And if it was bad from page one, then the whole “should I drop it?” issue is secondary.
New data shows that when the movie version of a book comes out, kids actually go read the book. The book versions of The Hunger Games, The Lorax, and The Giver all gained new readers around the releases of their movie adaptations....more
Are we right to be nostalgic for a time before the internet when we could just read? Katy Waldman, writing for Slate, wonders if we might be misremembering things.
I also realize, typing this confession of pathological distractibility, that I may be pining for an Eden of immersive focus that never existed.
Literary criticism suffers from elitism, claims Elisabeth Donnelly over at Flavorwire, and the solution is introducing a poptimism revolution. The term poptimism originated in the music world as a reaction to stodgy music reviewers’ love of Bob Dylan and “argues for a more inclusive view of what matters and what’s pleasurable in music.” Donnelly insists that book reviewers and literary culture could stand to benefit from a wider audience by embracing popular books....more
Writer Michael Harris discusses digital distraction and reading War and Peace at Salon:
But there’s a religious certainty required in order to devote yourself to one thing while cutting off the rest of the world. We don’t know that the inbox is emergency-free, we don’t know that the work we’re doing is the work we ought to be doing.
When she first began so long ago, long before she knew how many days every day could be, she’d worried. Had she chosen the right story? Would it retain its power over time? Would she be able to read it again and again, once a day every day?
As the number of Americans who read books has declined, those who do read have begun wearing t-shirts, carrying tote bags, and sticking magnets on their fridges declaring their love of reading. Some book lovers even perform “book stunts,” reading through the encyclopedia or the dictionary over the course of a year....more