In Defense of Reading

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Why should we read? We assume that reading is good for us, but often we cannot articulate exactly what it does for us. In this fascinating book, Sarah Worth addresses from a philosophical perspective the many ways in which reading benefits us morally, socially and cognitively.

The book offers a comprehensive account of what counts as fiction, nonfiction and other genre distinctions. Ultimately the author supports the thesis that reading, hearing and telling well-told stories is of the utmost importance in developing a healthy sense of personal identity, a greater sense of narrative coherence, and an increased ability to make a number of different kinds of inferences. Engaging classical philosophical questions in the contemporary landscape of the teaching of literacy and the inclusion of fiction in a classroom curriculum, Worth demonstrates how our hyper-focus on genre distinctions moves us away from a real engagement with narrative understanding and narrative comprehension.

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Rowman & Littlefield International
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