Phi Beta Cons

The Right take on higher education.

What It Takes to Read


To continue the thread that Mark Bauerlein picked up on, I want to share a disturbing comment I heard at a meeting of the Association of Core Texts and Courses, which emphasizes Great Books. A professor pointed out that in order to appreciate almost any book — certainly any challenging one — a person has to sit down with it for an hour or more, has to get “settled in” with it, has to soak up the world that it evokes. It takes time! But what 18-year-old has time — or the habit of taking time, or the patience to take time, or the motivation to take time — to read? With an “anything goes” culture, young people won’t read anything unless it is immediately appealing.


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