Questioning Reading

My supervisor, Dr. Lawson, and I had an initial discussion this week about the possible directions my readings could take. A number of questions surfaced, which I expect will re-occur throughout the term. Some notable ones are the following:

  • Is the pursuit of reading an elitist construct?
  • How prevalent is the belief that reading for pleasure is inferior to reading for improvement/edification?
  • Is an advanced reading level still necessary for most people, in most situations, or is it merely the measure of academic success that we are most accustomed to using?
  • Will we continue to read if we don’t need to?
  • Could the broadening gap in reading ability between boys and girls be due to the fact that there are fewer books out there that interest teenage boys than girls?

3 responses to “Questioning Reading

  1. Pierre Bourdieu may have addressed some of these questions at some point. You might want to check him out.

  2. Ahah! I knew that Bourdieu book my sister gave me a few years ago would come in useful someday.

  3. Another suggestion, especially if you like humour and the future of reading, is Nicholson Baker’s essay “Books as Furniture” (originally appeared in the New Yorker, June 12, 1995, 84-92). It is an amusing look at the book as elite status object rather than something that one might actually want to read.

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