Reading in the Digital Age, or: The Death of the Book, Revisited

Dan Chiasson, in The New Yorker’s September 2, 2019 issue, reviews the new book What We Talk About When We Talk About Books: The History and Future of Reading by Leah Price. As with most New Yorker book reviews, Chiasson’s essay addresses a range of related issues, and wittily so.  (The wit begins with the essay’s title: “Reader, I Googled It.”)

Read Chiasson’s delightful, insightful (and, for habitual book readers, reassuring) essay.

Ordering information about Leah Price’s book – as well as excerpts from another ten reviews – is here.


Dept. of “Readers Live Many Lives”

stack of open books

“Accumulating circulations around the sun doesn’t make you wise. Experience and reflection does. Nothing can beat the real thing, but what is Literature, if not experience and reflection, set down in language?”

Thus writes Alice Whaley, a (merely) 21-year old writer – and reader – in a short, charming essay published earlier this month in the Britain-based periodical The Oldie.

Whaley’s reflections reminded me of what S.I. Hiyakawa wrote about the difference between readers and non-readers:

“It is not true that we have only one life to live; if we can read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish.”

Read the rest of Whaley’s essay here.

Found via Patrick Kurp’s blog Anecdotal Evidence

Readerly Reflection du Jour

woman reading in front of bookshelf

“‘ A real page-turner,’ people say of certain novels or biographies. I prefer to read books that are page-stoppers, that cause me to stop and contemplate a striking idea, an elegant phrase, an admirably constructed sentence.” – Joseph Epstein, from his November 2018 essay entitled “The Bookish Life,” at First Things

Found via Patrick Kurp’s blog Anecdotal Evidence

Books That Mention Other Books

Books within Books image

I don’t know about you, but many of the books I end up tracking down to read I first learn about when their titles are mentioned in other books (or, more recently, blogs) I’m reading.

Some books mention lots of titles. Back in 2017, Emily Temple very helpfully posted to Literary Hub a host of titles alluded to by the characters in twelve books.

You might want to scan the titles mentioned in these twelve books that Emily examined to see which books mentioned you’d like to put onto your personal “Books to Read” list. (Despite the probability that your “Books to Read” list already has plenty o’ titles on it already!)

Found at Literary Hub’s Facebook page