Download Reader, Come Home: The Reading Brain in a Digital World Audiobook

Reader, Come Home: The Reading Brain in a Digital World Audiobook, by Maryanne Wolf Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Maryanne Wolf Narrator: Kirsten Potter Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2018 ISBN: 9780062848642
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From the author of Proust and the Squid, a lively, ambitious, and deeply informative epistolary book considers the future of the reading brain and our capacity for critical thinking, empathy, and reflection as we become increasingly dependent on digital technologies

A decade ago, Maryanne Wolf’s Proust and the Squid revealed what we know about how the brain learns to read and how reading changes the way we think and feel. Since then, the ways we process written language have changed dramatically with many concerned about both their own changes and that of children. New research on the reading brain chronicles these changes in the brains of children and adults as they learn to read while immersed in a digitally dominated medium.

Drawing deeply on this research, this book comprises a series of letters Wolf writes to us—her beloved readers— to describe her concerns and her hopes about what is happening to the reading brain as it unavoidably changes to adapt to digital mediums. Wolf raises difficult questions, including:

  • Will children learn to incorporate the full range of “deep reading” processes that are at the core of the expert reading brain?
  • Will the mix of a seemingly infinite set of distractions for children’s attention and their quick access to immediate, voluminous information alter their ability to think for themselves?
  • With information at their fingertips, will the next generation learn to build their own storehouse of knowledge, which could impede the ability to make analogies and draw inferences from what they know?
  • Will all these influences, in turn, change the formation in children and the use in adults of “slower” cognitive processes like critical thinking, personal reflection, imagination, and empathy that comprise deep reading and tht influence both how we think and how we live our lives?
  • Will the chain of digital influences ultimately influence the use of the critical analytical and empathic capacities necessary for a democratic society?
  • How can we preserve deep reading processes in future iterations of the reading brain?
  • Who are the “good readers” of every epoch?

Concerns about attention span, critical reasoning, and over-reliance on technology are never just about children—Wolf herself has found that, though she is a reading expert, her ability to read deeply has been impacted as she has become, inevitably, increasingly dependent on screens.

Wolf draws on neuroscience, literature, education, technology, and philosophy and blends historical, literary, and scientific facts with down-to-earth examples and warm anecdotes to illuminate complex ideas that culminate in a proposal for a biliterate reading brain. Provocative and intriguing, The Lost Reader is a roadmap that provides a cautionary but hopeful perspective on the impact of technology on our brains and our most essential intellectual capacities—and what this could mean for our future.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A clarion call for parents, educators, and technology developers to work to retain the benefits of reading independent of digital media.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “A hopeful look at the future of reading that will resonate with those who worry that we are losing our ability to think in the digital age.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “An accessible, well-researched analysis of the impact of literacy.”

    Kirkus Reviews

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About the Author

Maryanne Wolf is a professor of child development at Tufts University, where she is also the director of the Center for Reading and Language Research. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

About the Narrator

Kirsten Potter has won several awards, including more than a dozen AudioFile Earphones Awards and been a three-time finalist for the prestigious Audie Award for best narration. Her work has been recognized by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts and by AudioFile magazine, among many others. She graduated with highest honors from Boston University and has performed on stage and in film and television, including roles on Medium, Bones, and Judging Amy.