Linda's Reviews > The Lost Art of Reading: Why Books Matter in a Distracted Time

The Lost Art of Reading by David L. Ulin
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Aug 06, 11

Read in August, 2011

Ulin is insightful for the most part about the changes in how we read, the advent of the Internet and the Kindle - Nook type devices that more and more people are using to read. He evokes many of the nostalgic reasons I love books (and probably many others)... but explores how those devices change the landscape in so many ways. Of course, he just had to take his liberal jabs at Sarah Palin and give an admiring shout out to Obama, but I'll forgive him because he those were very few, and he stays more to the topic at hand - reading. I have to admit, in some parts he started to sound like some of my liberal SDSU college professors, and he almost lost me at that point, but he quickly bounded back from that failing and got back to more objective assessments of the state of reading... it was a close call, but by the end, I was pleased to find more than a few quotes and thoughts to share with students in my upcoming college English classes. So, thanks David Ulin for that.

One thing he discussed was how when and where we read a book becomes as much a part of the experience as WHAT we read does. That has some interesting implications when I think about how online education is changing the "classroom" experience. Online classes, like reading online, separate us from the physical elements important to our learning experiences. For example, when I think about my online students, I have only names - no faces, no real ties, no real relationship. There's a disconnect. Same with how I feel about what I read online. I have no physical reference. For example (again), I can remember when, where and under what circumstances I read Martin Eden by Jack London, and those memories endear that book to me in a certain way. I have no such reference for any book I've read online OR for that matter, any STUDENT I've taught online. I have no physical reference. Is this loss significant? I think so. I think Ulin would agree with me, too.

I would have given it four stars, but those political diversions left a sour taste in my mouth (or mind...).
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