Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Education

Kindle Versus Printed Book

The NY Times presents a symposium on reading on a Kindle/computer versus reading a printed book.  Each participant offers something worthwhile considering.  (David Gelernter is the one identifiable conservative.)   My question, which the academics consider more or less, is whether students read any more.  At the beginning of a course I ask students to note books they have read that have influenced the way they think and act.  The list is thin--maybe someone will list the Bible or an Obama book.  You never see a book from political science.  Now, more than when Aristotle questioned whether the youth are fit to study politics, the inclination of the young to indulge their passions meets the least intellectual resistance.  Given our technology, books or rather reading (books are too long and require too much effort) becomes just another way to fulfil desires:  the ideal reading is the cookbook* (with lots of pictures).  It is a rare education that shows students another way of looking at books.

*There are variants on such how-to books, but this is a family-friendly site.

Categories > Education

Discussions - 6 Comments

Good post, Ken. Have faith. I am reading through the Iliad (Kingfisher pre-teen version with challenging language) right now with my six and eight year old since my daughter had a ancient myth project at school. Kingfisher has also published the Odyssey, King Arthur, Robin Hood, and Beowulf, and I plan to read through the books with them. There is also a growing movement of classical education in formal schools and among homeschoolers. Many parents are interested in their children wrestling with the classics and the human condition from an early age rather than watching television, playing video games (every kid I know has a system except just a few), and languishing on the internet's entertainment.

Thanks, we used to have Classics Comic books. Are they still around?

No idea. I have picked up a few picture book classics at yard sales for my younger son to thumb through, but we generally like curling up with one of these books (can you do that with a Kindle?) and reading through them over the course of a week or two. The kids were recently enthralled by Ajax and Hector fighting to a bloody draw and then exchanging gifts of admiration and respect.

P.S. I saw them reading those comics in the movie Major League, but that was made 20 years ago! :)

It has already been established that amazon can delete your kindle books.........if its more appealing to get kids to read then fine, but I would not throw out the paper copies.

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