Reader, Come Home by Maryanne Wolf
What’s it about?
Maryanne Wolf is a neuroscientist who studies the reading brain. In a series of letters to us, the reader, Maryanne Wolf addresses her concerns over how the digital world may change our brains and what those changes may bring. In these letters she cites different research and covers a wide range of topics.
What did it make me think about?
How can Maryanne Wolf be scientific and folksy at the same time? I think it would be kind of hard to do...
Should I read it?
I really enjoyed this work of non-fiction. Lots to think about here! I will let the quotes speak for themselves.
Quote- so many quotes in this book to share....
"The unsettling reality, however, is that unbeknownst to many of us, including until recently myself, there has begun an unanticipated decline of empathy among young people. The MIT scholar Sherry Turtle described a study by Sara Konrath and her research group at Stanford University that showed a 40 % decline in empathy in our young people over the last two decades, with the most precipitous decline in the last ten years."
"The sheer amount of information that we all consume involves one set of inherently game-changing issues after another. What do we do with the cognitive overload from multiple gigabytes of information from multiple devices? First, we simplify. Second, we process information as rapidly as possible: more precisely, we read more in briefer bursts. Third, we triage. We stealthily begin the insidious tradeoff between our need to know with our need to save and gain time. Sometimes we outsource our intelligence to the information outlets that offer the fastest, simplest, most digestible distillations of information we not longer want to think about ourselves."
"More disturbing altogether, close to half our children who are African-American or Latino do not read in grade four at even a "basic" reading level, much less a proficient one. This means they do not decode well enough to understand what they are reading, which will impact almost everything they are supposed to learn from now on, including math and other subjects. "
"As depicted earlier, we need to confront the reality that when bombarded with too many options, our default can be to rely on information that places few demands upon thinking. More and more of us would then think we know something based on information whose source was chosen because it conforms to how and what we thought before. Thus, thought we are seemingly well armed, there begins to be less and less motivation to think more deeply, much less try on views that differ from one's own."
If you liked this try-
Being Mortal by Atul Gawande
The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert
The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis
favorites from 2020
some favorites of the last decade
best of winter 2020
best of summer/fall 2019
best of winter/spring 2019
best of summer/ fall 2018
best of winter/spring 2017-18
best of spring/summer 2017
best of winter
best of summer 2014
last spring favorites
on my nightstand
edge of your seat
― Charles William Eliot
3 to 4- I found some aspect of this book redeeming but would not recommend it.
5 to 6- I really enjoyed something about this book (characters, plot, meaning etc.) but it was uneven. Some aspects were stronger than others.
7 to 8- It was a good book. I liked lots of aspects of this book. I would recommend it.
9 to 10- I was sorry to turn the last page. I highly recommend this book!