I always find Ms Wood’s (The Thinking Housewife) writings interesting. But, I must disagree with her when she writes:
Given that experience, I find no validity in the strained romantic hope that the inadequately lettered and spottily informed student will prove somehow to be cognitively sharp in domains “beyond” the book…One effect of literacy, especially the literacy of narrative, on cognitive development is to create awareness of continuity, sequence, and ethical causality, especially as the last unfolds in a long-term temporal scheme. Today, many college students lack this awareness.
I just turned 29 and I am an active video game player. I also like to think that I do a decent amount of reading. I don’t understand why the two should be mutually exclusive.
I agree that many college students lack awareness of the long-term. However, I think the declining awareness is related to the fact that less intelligent people are attending college. Stupid people don’t have a solid awareness of the long-term, and no amount of reading books – that are above their heads anyway – is going to change this simple fact.
That said, as a male student, I think most of our literature courses were designed specifically to turn men off from reading literature. I would have hated books if my only exposure to them was through academic courses.