Twitter Killed Our Attention Spans, and Just Killed Itself

How long have I been on Twitter? I joined two boyfriends before I met my husband, who is the father of our three children. To put it another way: Most of my adult life. I have tweeted 129,000 times; I’ve live-tweeted debates, elections, everyday interactions, and everything in between. I tweet too much; I know … Continued

Culture

The Death of Reading

I read Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis for the first time last December. A lifelong Christian and Narnia superfan, I’m late to the party, I know. But as the dust settled from an election that shined a glaring spotlight on our cultural divisions—political, social, economic, theological—I was feeling out of sorts. Christian leaders I … Continued

Culture

Coding Isn’t Reading

Ivanka Trump recently announced that she will be attending a coding class this summer with her five-year-old daughter. “We’re excited to learn this incredibly important new language together,” Trump said, speaking at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. “Coding truly is the language of the future.” Like Ivanka, many tech gurus … Continued

Parenting

Why More Juvenile Delinquents Should Read

  It’s a modern cliché to say that reading books will make you a better person—a more empathetic person, a more intelligent person, even a happier person. Research does indeed suggest many benefits from cozying up with a good book. But does reading only change those seeking betterment or can it help the juvenile offender … Continued

Books, Politics

The Brave New World of Publishing’s “Sensitivity Readers”

Nothing so surely kills artistic expression and the free spirit of the imagination as political dogma. When politics hijacks art the result is propaganda—a blunt instrument of control instead of a vehicle for transcendance. The Chicago Tribune reports that book publishers have begun to increase use of so-called “sensitivity readers” to examine manuscripts and to … Continued

Culture

Turn Off Your TV, Read A Book, Live Longer?

We live in a golden age of video content, whether it’s TV series funded by streaming networks like Amazon Prime and Netflix or indie Kickstarter-funded movies, of which there are more and more every year. The average person now watches hours and hours of video content every day, and according to Time magazine, although we … Continued

Books, Culture

If You Build a Little Free Library, Will People Read?

This summer I’ve been to two beaches—one in New Jersey and one in Connecticut. At both places my kids found free “libraries.” On one boardwalk, a boat shaped bookcase invited beachgoers to grab a title and settle in under their umbrella. At the next beach, a cart with rows of books for the taking next … Continued

Culture

Want to Write the Next ‘Hamilton’? Read a Difficult Book

Who’s going to write the next Hamilton? The musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda is a genuine phenomenon, an inspired work that ingeniously fuses hip-hop and literature. So who can match it? Whoever tries should forget about themselves for a couple of years and just read books and study great art. Critics love to praise Hamilton for … Continued

Entertainment

Bedtime Stories Help Kids—So Ban Them?

Class divides and racial divides are passé. Now, there’s bedtime reading inequality. In a recent article for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, journalist Joe Gelonesi asked whether loving families are an “unfair advantage.” The piece asked whether we should level the academic playing field among all children, by having all parents stop bedtime reading in order … Continued

Parenting

Stop Dumbing Down Books for Teens

During my senior year AP English class in high school, we read Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. It was brutal. I thought I was a pretty good reader because I had worked my way through most of Jane Austen, the Brontë sisters, and Leo Tolstoy, but I struggled to get through Heart of Darkness. To … Continued

Books