All posts tagged: lonely 1950s-style housewife

What to Read When You Can’t Focus on Reading

What to Read When You Can’t Focus on Reading

When I teach a literature class to undergraduates, one of my most important tasks is to help my students relearn how to read in the age of distraction. I assign them an exercise: Set a timer for 20 minutes and dive into a book, no phone in sight, and don’t stop before the alarm goes off. They frequently tell me that time moves differently when they do this. The first few minutes drag, and the exercise feels totally impossible and dull, but as they keep sitting and reading, they begin to focus on the world inside the pages in front of them. By the end, they’re usually surprised by the timer ringing, and hungry to keep reading. My students aren’t the only ones who benefit from this exercise, and the activity works with any book. But this list will offer you a head start. The seven titles below self-consciously aim to grab their reader’s attention, whether through form or content. Each will pull you into reading in a different way: Some are brief and succinct; …