Young Adult Lit/Crit

February 21, 2008

Book Lust!

Filed under: from your prof — sunyprof @ 8:18 pm

Evidently Steve Jobs has been quoted as saying, “people don’t read any more.” Well, there’s a backlash and where else, in the NYTimes. Do read. Nice comment on the importance of our work together. Note the comments that follow. KES



  1. Karen, I really enjoyed that article.

    A wonderful moment is when the author mentions his son’s interest in reading after learning about Bissinger’s “Friday Night Lights” (and others.) This can link right back to the Lesesne reading, and the ability to have read enough to find a good interest/title match-up for each and every reader.

    Additionally, I am amused with the observation that Steve Jobs is “not a careful reader.” This was spot-on, if a little unforgiving. I’m glad the article began with a disclaimer; sometimes people say stupid things, and here’s one instance.

    As a student (and someday teacher) I’m learning that sometimes I say stupid things. Sometimes I know they’re stupid the moment they come out of my mouth. How do we manage this sort of “slip up” in a classroom filled with children? Is there a teacher filter we’re awarded with the moment of graduation, something that we swallow that enables us to keep those stupid things in? Or, am I a hopeless romantic: envisioning every day, every word, every moment filled with deep, resonating, wonderful discussions that are curtious, encouraging, and positive? Are these fears reasonable?

    What if I say something that pushes a student away, rather than lifts them up? How do I recover from that kind of devastation, and-more importantly-how do I make sure I never say something stupid that jeopardizes the fragile sphere of learning I am trying to promote?

    These may be obvious questions, but this article really spoke to me. It was the perfect match-up for me at this point in my graduate career, allowing me to really flesh out these questions/fears.


    Comment by joycehansen — February 22, 2008 @ 12:35 pm

  2. Karen,
    Thank you for sharing this article with us. I think in a changing world, reading is something that will not die, but grow with the changes.

    All it takes is a little spark sometimes, from the least expected places to lift us and awaken passions.
    I have said this already many times before, but this article made me think of how movies can make us go read the book, like I did with Persepolis. It makes me think of the Harry Potter trend and how it became an international passion. It makes me love the internet for its incredible reading and writing possibilities. It makes me love international trade, so that French speakers can recieve French magazines in the US. It makes me love the free texts that we can find in an instant online. I see a world that has changed for the better, and I still see people reading all around.

    As I go to local schools as a substitute or observer, I have come to cherish my experiences with those students who need “a little extra help.” Those are some of the most passionate readers that I have found! Its inspiring. Usually all it takes is them to discover an interest. It might not be conventional, one boy liked reading about ‘depressing things’ and he spent his time drawing rather than doing school work. Although it’s not valued by school, I see a great reader and an amazing artist! I’m telling you, this kid was in eighth grade and he was one of the best artists I have ever seen! This might shake the “fragile sphere of learning” which Joyce refers to, but I don’t think its a bad thing.



    Comment by allison — February 24, 2008 @ 2:55 pm

  3. What an shocking statement for someone to make! Generalized, for sure, Jobs raises a point. People (i.e. educators, parents and mentors) have been losing faith in the reading ability of our young adolescents. The “don’t, won’t, can’t” cloud that has been hovering over the heads of young readers is now leaking into the minds of established adults. Joyce briefly mentioned, and I will reiterate and expound on it, the usefulness of Lesesne’s text in avoiding a world of non-readers.

    There is a plethora of ways for young adolescents (and adults) to be motivated to read. The first step, as mentioned specifically in Lesesne, is to discover the reader. Understand what the reader/you are capable of, interested in, and have already encountered in life and in previous reading, then begin looking for genres and topics. From there, one will discover that he/she is not limited to historical texts or 300-page fiction novels. Suddenly, graphic novels and comics, non-fiction, sci-fi, short stories and poetry will reveal themselves. Reading will become an activity rather than a chore, once the appropriate match is made.

    As far as Jobs’ “stupid comment,” well, with every action there is a reaction. Jobs had a basis to his argument, but there are also statistics, facts and opinions that argue against him (e.g. 60 million copies of “The DaVinci Code” were sold, while only 3.7 million iPhones were sold in 2007). Technology has rapidly gained appeal and preference, but reading can be incorporated into the new age of technology. Two examples of merging reading with technology would be downloading book readings in order to listen on an iPod/MP3 player and downloading books from the internet.

    Everyone makes the occasional decision, statement and action that they regret. The key is to rectify it and/or grow from it. 🙂


    Comment by jexter1 — February 24, 2008 @ 4:21 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: