Sunday Summary

I’m working on a research proposal for school right now. As exhilarating as it is to be getting near working on my dissertation, this phase is very time-consuming. Consequently, I’m resorting to a summary list of the tabs I’ve left open in my browser for far too long in hopes of being able to write a separate post about each one.

Can e-books win global appeal?

This very short piece in the Christian Science Monitor links to two articles in foreign newspapers that discuss e-book readers like the Amazon Kindle and Sony’s digital Reader.

Reading Shouldn’t Be a Numbers Game

In this opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times librarian Regina Powers laments a trend she’s noticed:

Although I am elated that many families are visiting my public library more frequently because schools send them, I am disturbed at how infrequently parents and teachers are allowing young readers to choose what to read.

During the summer, children were excited about reading because, freed from school requirements, they decided what to read. Being able to choose their favorite author, genre or topic seemed to empower them to read more. Now with school back in session, finding a book again involves navigating through a labyrinth of point values and reading levels.

A Trilling Look at Literary Criticism

This piece in Columbia University’s campus paper Columbia Spectator discusses the work of Lionel Trilling, an iconic figure in the history of literary criticism:

Trilling, CC ’25 and GSAS ’38, was one of the most celebrated public intellectuals of his day. The first Jewish professor in the English department, he rose to fame as one of the “New York Intellectuals” (a group whose members included Saul Bellow and Irving Howe) and a writer for Partisan Review. He also published acclaimed studies of Matthew Arnold and E.M. Forster, before trying his hand at novel-writing with The Middle of the Journey. His later works—collections of essays like The Liberal Imagination, The Opposing Self, Beyond Culture, and Sincerity and Authenticity—are classics of literary criticism. He died in 1975, at age 70, and remains an iconic figure, if not a fashionable one.

Using Video Games as Bait to Hook Readers

Increasingly, authors, teachers, librarians and publishers are embracing this fast-paced, image-laden world in the hope that the games will draw children to reading.

Spurred by arguments that video games also may teach a kind of digital literacy that is becoming as important as proficiency in print, libraries are hosting gaming tournaments, while schools are exploring how to incorporate video games in the classroom.

When Books Could Change Your Life
“Why What We Pore Over At 12 May Be The Most Important Reading We Ever Do”

In this wonderful piece Tim Kreider explains why the books we devour as children and adolescents are some of the most important reading of our lives:

It’s not that children’s books are pure entertainment, innocent of any didactic goal–what grownups enviously call “Reading for Fun.” On the contrary, the reading we do as children may be more serious than any reading we’ll ever do again. Books for children and young people are unashamedly prescriptive: They’re written, at least in part, to teach us what the world is like, how people are, and how we should behave. . .