Saturday, September 4, 2010

Why Read- an interesting perspective

While reading this book I couldn't help but try to find things that I disagreed with. I always found myself looking for an excuse to tell myself that Edmundson was wrong. He has some extremely valid points such as the fact that we live in such a different world than he grew up in and the fact that computers are a vital part of our lives and education today. But I disagree with the negative view he has with computers and students perspective on their own education.
I chose to be an English major mid way through sophomore year. English has always been something that I've been good at and something that I didn't despise so it was a good fit for me, I can't picture myself as any other major. The fact that the author thinks that people choose the humanities as "an easy way out" is extremely false. With all of the reading and writing English majors do I think his comment is invalid. In the "total entertainment all the time" section of the book, Edmundson describes the society we live in that is driven by consumer culture. He is upset about how often computers are used and how he is not happy with this change. Although many people are against computers and their constant use in our world today, I think they are extremely beneficial and have more positive aspects than negative ones.
Edmundson has very strong opinions that are covered in this book. While I may not agree with all of them, I respect his thoughts and found what he had to say very different and enlightening.


  1. One aspect of Edmundson’s argument that I found myself agreeing with regarded his views on how the Internet is used today. While I certainly find it to be a beneficial tool for research, I agree with him in that it has resulted in the discouragement of younger people to communicate orally. In my opinion, language is thoroughly reduced when chatting online or texting via phone. Abbreviation becomes the focus and ideas are simplified to the point that meaning is difficult to understand. Through the spoken language, listeners find themselves deducing significance through stressed words, inflections, and expressions, whereas the cyber-version of communication completely inhibits it. Rather, it offers people an extended amount of time to think of the response they find best suitable. In the actual world, people are not allowed this extra time to mull over in their minds what the best response would be, they need to simply react. This difference I find apparent when younger people speak to those older than themselves. Their speech is muddled with ugly fillers, most commonly “like” and “anyway,” making them come across a less intelligent. I am certainly not trying to over-generalize; not everyone is affected so strongly by this cultural movement. However, I feel that it can be accurately stated that computers make life easier and that people should be careful as to how much they utilize it throughout their daily lives.

  2. Edmundson's "Why Read", is a very interesting and unconventional based off the way it is presented to its reader. When first reading this book I assumed that there would be not much to take from this book except it way of showing that novels do not have to be written in a set for or format. As I began to progress in the novel I realized that he was making hints at how the world was and how it has become. This was interesting to me because upon starting the novel I was criticizing Edmundson myself for not producing a meaningful novel. I had to re-access my thoughts on the novel and I came to the conclusion that it is much more than just a weird look book, it touches on a lot of things that I do not pay to much attention to. I have to say that he did bring forth some challenges for the readers to think about and I like that about the novel.

    Bianca McConney