“Corbin and Eric want you to read to them, Mimi.” It’s not unusual for our son, Philip, to let us know that his sons want their grandmother to read to them. So this last Sunday Phyllis pulled out The Magic Bicycle by John Bibee. And as they sat quietly and attentive, she read to them—via Skype.
Continue reading “Lighting a Candle of Technology”
Maybe you’ve noticed the “What I’m Reading” list on the right-hand column of the Andy Unedited homepage. Of those books I finished this year, by the numbers they represent fourteen novels, seventeen nonfiction books, eleven audio books, six books purchased, one given to me as a gift, seventeen from the library, one borrowed, five read for our neighborhood book club, four I blogged about and five published by InterVarsity Press (books I read off the clock after publication).
Here’s the full list for the year:
Continue reading “What I Read in 2010”
It’s the smell I remember.
When my older sister was in high school she got a summer job at the local bookstore in the center of our town. It was only about a mile from home, so I would sometimes walk or ride my bike there to visit her. I tried not to interrupt her professional duties too much. It was there that I first learned to browse.
Continue reading “It’s the Smell I Remember”
The book, as Nicholas Carr notes in The Shallows, has so far proven extraordinarily resistant to computers and the Net. While book sales and book reading have plateaued, this “long sequence of printed pages assembled between a pair of stiff covers has proven to be a remarkably robust technology for more than half a millennium” (p. 99). But what about now?
Continue reading “The Shallows 8: The Future of the Book”
Something’s gained: Everything is on the web. It’s an external hard drive for the brain, relieving us of the responsibility to remember mindless lists of facts or extended passages of literature. We free up our brain power so we can do other, more important things.
Something’s lost: Because of the way the brain works, when we cease exercising our memory, we don’t merely lose isolated bits of information. We actually lose the ability to gain insight and understanding.
Continue reading “The Shallows 6: Try to Remember”
The Net distracts. But not all distractions are bad. As I’ve written here before, taking a break from a problem and letting your brain do something totally different can provide an opportunity for fresh ideas to emerge. The problem is that the constantly distracting state of the Net, contends Nicholas Carr in The Shallows, changes the way we read and think. (You can find the first in my series on this book here.)
Continue reading “The Shallows 4: The Net Effect”
Recently, readers of Andy Unedited have let me know about a number of pieces of interest related to stuff I’ve posted. I’m happy to pass them along to you as well.
IVP Fan Mark Denning read “Will Digital Outstrip Print by 2015?” and suggested two articles to me. The first is a Smithsonian magazine piece, “Reading in a Whole New Way” by tech-guru Kevin Kelly, founding editor of Wired magazine. There he mirrors some ideas found in Nicholas Carr’s The Shallows (which I’ll be reviewing here shortly) and goes beyond, suggesting how the very meaning of reading is changing.
The second, “Quick Change in Strategy for a Bookseller,” is from the New York Times. This piece looks at how e-books are making huge changes not just for publishers but in the retail book business as well.
In a different vein, Dietrich Gruen alerted me to “Reading May Save Your Life” by Bill Ellis, following up my blog “Who Do Books Make Us?” There’s still a human side to reading, not just technology and fads. Here’s a good reminder of that.
Want your children to go further in their education—high school, college, maybe more? Want them to earn more as adults? Here’s one key predictor of educational attainment and earning power. Is it IQ? Is it economic status?
Continue reading “Increase the Earning Power of Your Children”
All writing is autobiography.
Fiction. Non-fiction. Quasifictional-semirealistic-self-congratualtory historical narrative. It’s all autobiography.
Obviously memoir, journals, travelogues and a lot of bad poetry are autobiographical.
But what about auto-repair manuals?
Continue reading “All Writing Is Autobiography”
I encourage reading. I’ve tried to do it here and there and elsewhere, noting a variety of excellent reasons to do so. I tend to think that reading in general and thoughtful reading in particular need all the support they can get. My suspicion is that if people are reading, books will get their fair share of attention.
But some people just really love books. And who am I to stand in their way? It’s delightful when someone exposes such passion in unfettered terms. That’s what James Emery White has done on his Serious Times website.
He even makes an ardent case for not just reading books but for buying them, marking them and keeping them.
May his tribe increase.