reading

The Saving Nature of a Liberal Education

Reading good books can help save your soul. A liberal education and Christianity share a mutual pursuit of the truth. With the torrential influx of electronic entertainment and the focus on STEM-based disciplines, people today are reading books less than ever before. This is one of the great crises of our time. The National Endowment … Read more

Why Young Readers Need Real Books

A young lady I know won a Kindle in an academic contest. She is a voracious reader. In eighth grade, she enjoys Austen, Chesterton, Lewis, and Wodehouse, among many others. A trail of books seems to follow her everywhere she goes. Her parents, wary of potential negative effects of screens on growing minds, would have … Read more

The Three Books I’m Going to Read Next

“The medium is the message.”  ~ Marshall McLuhan I toss that McLuhan quotation up there as if I understood what it means, but I’m no better off than the poor schlemiel in Woody Allen’s Annie Hall that receives a severe public drubbing from McLuhan himself. “You know nothing of my work,” McLuhan tells the pedantic … Read more

Perfect Lenten Reading

Lent is the best time for spiritual reading focused on self-improvement, especially for those who have promised to give up or cut back on sports or entertainment, freeing up time in the process. For us who consider ourselves bad Catholics—or at least not-good-enough Catholics—there is always room for improvement. What sort of books make good … Read more

Finding Freedom in Reading Aloud with Children

“Children should be encouraged to read for the pure delight of it.”  ∼ Annie Sullivan, teacher of Helen Keller Most parents have heard that reading aloud to a child at home is one of the most helpful practices in a child’s education. It sounds simple; yet it can be intimidating for parents who want to read … Read more

Summer Books for a Billionaire

When Bill Gates announced his 2016 summer reading list, geeks rejoiced. As in previous years, it’s a stack of books full of a lot of long words and sentences. No James Patterson or Stephen King for him; certainly no Austen or Dickens. To his credit, there is a novel, a sci-fi one that does look … Read more

101 Books Gen Ys Must Read Before They Die

The must-read list for people who hate to read. “Must read” – not in the sense that something very scary will happen if they don’t, and not in the sense that they won’t be allowed to die if they don’t (read about the “struldbrugs” in Gulliver’s Travels for this possibility). No, what we mean is … Read more

What is Poetic Knowledge?

Editor’s note: Since so many people have responded favorably to the Civilized Reader column with requests for more information about John Senior and his educational vision, it seemed appropriate to republish this review of James Taylor’s Poetic Knowledge: The Recovery of Education by (State University of New York Press, 1998).  Taylor and Kramer were both … Read more

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