Why Read?

Why Read?Why Read? by Mark Edmundson. Published by Bloomsbury Press, 2004. 143 pages.

A professor of literature at the University of Virginia writes passionately about the importance of books. More specifically, he discusses how college literature classes should use serious literature to challenge students and to engage them in the big questions of what life is about, what kind of person they want to be, and what they should do with their lives. He discusses his belief that many college literature classes and the other humanities classes are often just non-threatening entertainment.

Edmundson provides several interesting examples of how to use great literature in a meaningful way, including a discussion of numerous classic authors that would be of interest to high school English teachers as well as college professors, such as Homer, Shakespeare and Dickens.

His memoir, “Teacher: the One Who Made the Difference,” published in 2002 was well reviewed and might also be of interest.

– Bob Sibert