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"Literature is one of the most interesting and significant expressions of humanity." — P. T. Barnum Today, there are too many people who believe that literature is simply not important or underestimate its abilities to stand the test of time and give us great knowledge. There is a stigma in society that implies one who is more inclined toward science and math will somehow be more successful in life, and that one who is more passionate about literature and other art forms will be destined to a life of low-paying jobs and unsatisfying careers. Somewhere along the line, the world...

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Can a book make you a better person? The publishing industry certainly seems to think so. Physical and virtual bookshop shelves groan with guides to self-improvement and self-care, which promise to show readers how to be healthier, happier, richer, tidier, smarter, more successful and less racist. But even as the genre metastasizes, it remains stubbornly invisible to the literary establishment. As far as critics, academics and self-styled serious readers are concerned, self-help is everywhere and nowhere. Into this void comes Beth Blum’s rich and fascinating study The Self-Help Compulsion, an overdue effort by a literary scholar to reframe the relationship...

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Students need good reading skills not just in English but in all classes. Here are some ways you can help them develop those skills. As avid lovers of literature, teachers often find themselves wanting to impart every bit of knowledge about a well-loved text to their students. And this is not just an ELA issue—other disciplines also often focus on the content of a text. However, teaching reading skills in English classes and across the disciplines is an almost guaranteed way to help students retain content. Unfortunately, the tendency to focus on the content is a real enemy to the...

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When was the last time you read a book, or a substantial magazine article? Do your daily reading habits center around tweets, Facebook updates, or the directions on your instant oatmeal packet? If you’re one of countless people who don’t make a habit of reading regularly, you might be missing out. Reading has a significant number of benefits, and here’re 10 benefits of reading to get you to start reading. 1. Mental Stimulation Studies have shown that staying mentally stimulated can slow the progress of (or possibly even prevent) Alzheimer’s and Dementia, since keeping your brain active and engaged prevents...

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