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comment by GenghisKhan
GenghisKhan  ·  2924 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: CS Lewis explains why you should be proud to read children's books.

Quite frankly in our day and age, you should be proud to read books at all.





exNihilo  ·  2924 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I've always felt that this was a very intellectually dishonest way to look at things. Has there ever really been a period in history when the majority of the population was highly bookish? Books have been around for centuries and literacy has only been since the advent of the printing press. The popularity of e-readers the rise of the superstar author is proof of this.

Sure, we may not spend all our time reading David Foster Wallace and Pynchon, but is this any different from history? Was the typical farmer or craftsman in 18th century England reading Kant? People generally read what is familiar and easy to them. Which rather underscores what Lewis is saying about reading children's lit.

user-inactivated  ·  2924 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Has there ever really been a period in history when the majority of the population was highly bookish?

When people excoriate the new generations for not reading, they're generally contrasting them to a period from about 1750-1980. How many Americans read Common Sense? New Yorkers lining the docks to get the next Dickens serial. A bunch of college-age Democrats assigning a poli sci reading list to each other in order that they might write a coherent Port Huron Statement.

If you were to compare the ratio of literate to literary, I imagine you'd find it at a low ebb.