Wednesday, January 02, 2008

More reading about reading

Welcome to 2008.

To pick up where this blog left off, I recommend Caleb Crain's New Yorker article on the "Twilight of the Books." One of the many things that recommends Crain's articles is that he will post background information and further research on his blog. In this case, he has a whole series of posts that discuss recent research on the decline of literacy, the effect of television, the effect of Internet use, and reading online. Crain is even-handed, and there's not a lot of chest-beating here. As a result, you cannot not only get a measured index to a lot of research, but you can also get a kind of sketch of the kind of work that goes into a New Yorker essay like Crain's. (There are other things that recommend Caleb Crain as well, including the fact that he's a nineteenth-century Americanist.)

When you are done reading about reading, you can read (as I am) Crain's novella "Sweet Grafton" in the latest issue of n+1.

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