The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction, by Alan Jacobs

If you're like me, you have a list of books in your head or on scraps of paper that you think you should read sometime. Some­­where, sometime, a teacher or a writer urged these books on me, but I haven't gotten around to reading them.

Alan Jacobs may have relieved me of the guilt for not ever having read these classics or near classics. "Read what gives you delight—at least most of the time—and do so without shame," he says. Encouraging reading at whim, he takes a swipe at Great Books programs and is impatient with lists of the most important books ever written. "1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die is the perfect guide for those who don't want to read but who want to have read."

Still, reading isn't just for pleasure. It's also for education and our formation as persons. Jacobs suggests ways that reading can actually make us better persons.


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