Short and left me feeling slightly smug. A perfect book to start 2011! Really, who is going to read a book about the so-called lost art of reading other than people who read quite a lot (which is why the NY Times Book Review didn't like the book much). But I love books like this — I collect books about books, about 1/3 of which are of the real-readers-are-disappearing-all-hell-is-breaking-loose variety. I read/collect books about books to be reminded why I read, why it's important, why I am compelled to enter into yet another story.
One quote: "This is the burden of technology, that we are never disconnected, never out of touch. And yet, reading is, by its nature, a strategy for displacement, for pulling back from the circumstances of the present and immersing in the textures of a different life."
And I say: this is why I read. Because when I have a hard day with the girls and am feeling very much like a stay-at-home-mom, I can immerse myself in something else — even for a few minutes. I don't like to be connected all the time. I turn my phone off, put my computer on the shelf and engage in another mind or another life. I don't think I could have survived three months in the hospital without the ability to lose myself completely in a book. Reading brought solace and the sense that life was teeming outside the narrow scope of my hospital room.