Guest post by Serge Alalouf, an Honorary Professor at the University of Quebec in Montreal. Having raised two daughters, Alalouf grappled with the challenge of stimulating their interest in reading. His unorthodox approach sparked criticism, which prompted this post.
It is huge! Hundreds of sophisticated experiments, thousands of subjects and a constellation of theories, conjectures, and conclusions. Some results are intriguing — I may come back to these in some future posts. In the meantime, I’ve come to some conclusions myself, based on a sample of one, and an age-old technique: introspection.
(I can believe an answer I give myself, which is more than I can say about research based on self-reported reading habits. Some years ago, a survey “revealed” that Scientific American and Time are among the most popular magazines in America; subscription figures, though, put Playboy and People Magazine in these lofty spots.)
Reader or Non-Reader?
A good place to start is to decide which class I belong to: Reader or Non Reader? If I can’t do that, there’s no hope. But of course I can, and of course I’m a Reader.
Really? Can I call myself a reader if I can’t get past page 5 of a book on the subject of leveraged management buyouts? I used to devour novels; I now lean toward essays. I now read articles on the current Mali troubles with interest, but the first one in the sequence took some effort. Essays on Serbian actions in Kosovo did not attract my attention until an animated conversation with […]