Dog-Eared Pursuits

Anthony Esolen on the Importance of Not Reading

When I was a boy, if you read at age four, you were a genius, but there were things more important than reading. You could poke a stick in the sand of a ditch. You could crush a rock against the concrete to draw pictures. Recess was the heart of school, as play and not work is the heart of life. I’m a man now, surrounded by books, sentenced to sentences, yet the rebellious boy in me rises up now and then to whip them back to their dens. Why, the best Book I know is sweetest when seen and lived.

Why should that . . .

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Anthony Esolen is a professor and writer-in-residence at Magdalene College of the Liberal Arts in Warner, New Hampshire. His many books include Sex in the Unreal City: The Demolition of the Western Mind, Life Under Compulsion: Ten Ways to Destroy the Humanity of Your Child, Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture, and The Hundredfold: Songs for the Lord. He is a regular contributor to Chronicles, Crisis Magazine, The Claremont Review, Inside the Vatican Things, The Catholic Thing, and American Greatness. He has translated Dante's Divine Comedy. He is a Roman Catholic and lives with his wife in New Hampshire. He is a senior editor of Touchstone.

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