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Category Archives: Literacy

Culture and the Downloadable Novel

  JOHN HARRIS, editor of Praesidium and executive director of the Center for Literate Values, writes: I happened upon Alexis de Tocqueville’s remarks about literary taste in American democracy recently. Dense irony swirled around the discovery of his words about the literary industry. He wrote: The ever-growing crowd of readers and the continual need they have […]

By Book or by Crook

  THOMAS F. BERTONNEAU writes in response to this entry on the future of the bookstore: Books are not indestructible, but short of tossing them into a furnace or dropping them into an industrial shredder they are difficult to annihilate. Not so the electronic file. A single electromagnetic burst over the North American continent could erase […]

The Demise of the Bookstore

  HERE is an excellent piece by Albert Mohler reflecting on the future of bookstores. With the news that the Borders chain has filed for bankruptcy, the bookstore appears more threatened than ever as a cultural institution. Mohler explains why the bookstore can never be replaced by online retailers. He writes: The general wisdom seems to be that the bookstore will […]

Defending Literacy

    IN ITS MISSION STATEMENT, the Center for Literate Values, which was recently vandalized by a computer hacker, states: The literate individual is vanishing. We who teach have seen with our own eyes the decline of analytical finesse and expressiveness in our composition classes over the past two or three decades. We who have […]

More on the Post-literate Society

  THOMAS F. BERTONNEAU takes up where he left off in his recent essay on the decline of literacy. He writes that ”contemporary college students reject books and disdain reading:”       I am not saying that today’s representative college student absolutely cannot do these things; I am saying that he wishes not to and that his disinclination stems from […]