I admire the attempt, too. It feels a little like a hard sales pitch to me, but if it gets people reading...
I don't know. I took to reading like a duck to water from a very early age. (My grandmother started teaching me to read at age 3. By first grade, I could read an average magazine aimed at adults. There's a story there, but it's probably boring.) In about junior high school, I stumbled upon The Lifetime Reading Plan in a local bookstore, and I was off and running. So, I don't have any idea how you coax people into reading literature, classics, or, indeed, reading anything at all longer than a blog post if they don't already have an interest in doing so. It's always encouraging to me to see how many of my younger patients bring reading material with them. Books that are not assigned for class.
: I don't have any particular reason for
: limiting the class so. I did think that if
: it worked out, I could do a second class on
: American novels. One reason, I suppose, for
: limiting the class now is that more of the
: British novels are available for free on
: kindle. A class on American novels would be
: heavier on the 20th century.
: Probably the main thing that made me return
: to this idea was that one night at one of
: the institutes where I teach, with an
: advanced class, I used an excerpt from Lord
: of the Flies that was in a book we have
: there. I wondered why in the world the
: editors had chosen that particular excerpt,
: which seemed dull as hell to me. I thought
: that if students could read more
: entertaining, more interesting excerpts, one
: or two might actually feel interested in
: reading the books, whether in English or
: I have been thinking lately that I would
: like to make somebody read something. I used
: this video:
: which was a bit difficult even for advanced
: students, as a listening exercise. Parts of
: this guy's videos are silly, but on the
: whole, I admire what he's doing. I think he
: has a better chance of making somebody read
: something than the high school teachers I
: had. I sometimes wonder if the future of
: education isn't guys like this on video with
: controllers, for lack of a better word, in
: the classroom.
: The only Defoe I've read is Roxana. Had to
: read it in grad school. Didn't like it at
: Of the Forster I've read, I liked Howard's
: End the best.
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