There is some debate over at the Corner about books that are bestsellers but really largely unread. The Closing of the American MIind was mentioned in this regard. Contributors point out that there is a big difference between the two halves of that book. The first half is lively and readable and absolutely vital in understanding what has happened to higher education in our country. The second half is less urgent and very heavy going and not very well written, so I don’t think anyone should be ashamed of not getting through it. (Although then he will miss the giveaway message on page 279.) But it is not always necessary to read a book all the way through. It depends on what you need, what is being required of you, the uses you’ll put it to, how important it is, what you’re getting out of it, etc. There has been some suggestion of a falling off in the depth and width of what younger conservatives read in an age of so called “South Park conservatives.” Perhaps some are held back from tackling important books they suspect they will never get through, but getting a general sense of a book, looking over its table of contents, reading a section or two, and so on, is often enough for ordinary purposes.