"The Endless First Chapter" in The New York Times-
Have You Lost Your Reading Attention Span?
Get it Back!
But I do believe this: I need books.
"Without books, I am starting to feel mentally flabby,” I complained to Dr. Maryanne Wolf, the author of “Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain,' after I phoned her to ask for help.
“There’s a good reason for that,” she said.
Deep reading — the kind that you engage in when you get lost in the syntax and imagery and the long, convoluted sentences of a really meaty book — is a special sort of exercise that creates a new part of the brain that did not exist at birth."
Ms. Slatalla's essay addresses how quick-fix reading and the increasingly audio/visual interpreted world can effect your attention span. Have your reading habits changed over the years with electronic venues reaching into every crevice of our lives? Have your children's reading habits changed?
“It’s semi-miraculous, really,” said Dr. Wolf, the director of the Center for Reading and Language Research at Tufts University. “We don’t have genes for reading. It’s an activity we invented, and by doing it, we show that our brain has the capacity to go beyond itself, to take all these circuits that were created for oral language or vision, and do something entirely different with them — deduction, critical analysis, imagination, contemplation.”
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