The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction


Product Details

$21.99  $20.45
Oxford University Press, USA
Publish Date
5.7 X 8.3 X 0.7 inches | 0.65 pounds
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About the Author

Alan Jacobs is Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Baylor University. His books include The Narnian, a biography of C.S. Lewis, Original Sin: A Cultural History, and a Theology of Reading. His literary and cultural criticism has appeared in the Boston Globe, The American Scholar, and the Oxford American.


"Delightful...appealing and convincing." --The Wall Street Journal

"As so many recent studies have suggested, the activity of reading itself is seriously threatened in this digital age. But Alan Jacobs -- bless him -- has an approach that will warm the hearts of serious readers and lead many prospective readers into the deeply satisfying swells of good prose. Reading should be a pleasure, and Jacobs shows us how to make sure we take delight in this work, which is not work at all. This is a witty and reader-friendly book, and it's one I would happily give to any potential reader, young or old." -- Jay Parini, author of The Passages of H.M. and The Last Station

"A vigorous and friendly exhortation to get back into the kind of reading that made you a reader in the first place." - Library Journal

"Jacobs' little, witty ode to pleasure found between hardcovers is a useful reminder of the joy of text." --Dan Kois, NPR

"Jacobs gives us the best entry to date in the flurry of recent attempts to augur and meditate upon the fate of reading in our time." --John Wilson, Christianity Today

"It seems a rare accomplishment that a book on the pleasures of reading could actually pull off being pleasurable itself. But Alan Jacobs' newest book, The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction, does just that. It is a marvelous manifesto of sanity in an age of jeremiads about the modern predicament of attention loss on one hand, and those proud champions of distraction singing the hallelujah chorus of a world devoid of long-form books on the other." --Trevor Logan, First Things

"A passionate call to indulge one's readerly passions in the pursuit of centeredness and growth, this book just might change the way you think about reading." --Brendan Driscoll, Booklist

"Alan Jacobs' bright, broad paean to reading is a sort of secular prayer book. It instructs, exhorts, laments, reveres; it has great faith andbest of allshows the Way. Or a way at leastfor author Jacobs, a college English professor, warns well that the road to reading Nirvana is a highly personal one." --Joseph Mackin, New York Journal of Books

"wonderful" --Micah Mattix, The Weekly Standard

"Reading Jacobs is a supreme pleasure...Jacobs has reshaped not only how I think about reading but how and what I actually read." --Lauren Winner, Books & Culture

"Jacobs makes a persuasive case that reading for pleasure should remain a live option in any discipline...The book as a whole makes many compelling points and refreshingly celebrates the God-given gift of reading in an age where texts are ubiquitous but often neglected."--Themelios

"Using Auden's terms to describe judging books, I conclude that 'I can see this is good and I like it.' The Pleasures of Reading in a Time of Distraction represents a realistic approach to recovering deep reading for the sole purpose of pleasure."--Journal of Education and Christian Belief