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 at Magdalene College of the Liberal Arts in Warner, New Hampshire, and the author of many books, including Life Under Compulsion (ISI Books), Real Music: A Guide to the Timeless Hymns of the Church (Tan, with a CD), Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture (Regnery), and The Hundredfold: Songs for the Lord (Ignatius Press, 2019). He has also translated Dante's Divine Comedy (Random House). He is a senior editor of Touchstone.

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