Heard Any Good Books Lately?

Once again I clicked on an intriguing Internet page title and found video only without even a printed article accompanying it. I clicked away immediately. I literally do not have time to listen to someone yammer when I could read the same number of words in seconds.

As a college comp instructor, I’ve long been depressed because so few students read fast enough to consume with ease all the material necessary for an undergrad degree. The old studies I’m familiar with contend that a reading speed of around 350 words a minute was necessary for college success. Of course, those old studies came out decades ago. My experience suggests that a good many people muddle through college today with a reading speed closer to 160 words a minute.

To me that’s pretty much talking speed.

My way of life is almost gone. As an example, an extremely bright college student told me she’d been assigned a classic novel and then cheerfully added she was listening to it instead of reading it.

Listening to a good book can be fun. It was of course a Victorian tradition. But reading is just so much more efficient, so much more–fun.

As a reader, I feel more alone each year.



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