This is great.
Read the whole thing:
‘To read is not a virtue; but to read well is an art, and an art that only the born reader can acquire,’ the novelist Edith Wharton insisted in her essay‘The Vice of Reading’ (1903). Wharton wrote that the ‘mechanical reader’ lacked ‘innate aptitude’ and the ‘gift of reading’, and could never acquire the art."
"By the 20th century, reading had been elevated into an art form, with intellectuals drawing a line in the sand."
"In fact, the act has become so prestigious that reading to a child signifies parental competence, at a minimum, and moral and cultural superiority, at best. A parent reading to a child in a public space is making a declaration to the world – and so lofty is the activity that mothers and fathers now devote considerable time and resources towards encouraging children to physically embrace the book. It is not uncommon to see a toddler perched in a child seat in a car holding and looking at a little book."
"The Bookish Fools are still with us, but fortunately many readers are not simply interested in the performance. They still lose themselves in the text and actually fall in love with the stories they read. Regardless of medium, what matters is the very human aspiration to embark on this voyage. It’s not the performance, and not the optics that really matter, but the experience of the journey to the unknown."