Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Sunday, December 5

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr

Book Club
« New(-ish) Silverstein Make the Case @ Open Books »

On the Web Wed May 04 2011

Ebert: "At the Library"?

Roger Ebert asks "Does anyone want to be 'well-read?'" After coming across a list of, what some would label classic, authors in an issue of The New Republic, Ebert writes that he felt a sinking feeling wondering who, indeed, is still reading them. However, what starts as a longing for more attention to the classics becomes a heart-warming ode to the importance of all reading:

My only goal is to enjoy reading. I learn that the average American teenager spends 17 minutes a weekend in voluntary reading. Surely that statistic is wrong. Do they mean reading of "serious" novels? I would certainly count science fiction, graphic novels, vampires, Harry Potter, newspapers, magazines, blogs--anything. Just to read for yourself for pleasure is the point. Dickens will come later, Henry James perhaps never.

At the end of the day, some authors will endure and most, including some very good ones, will not. Why do I think reading is important? It is such an effective medium between mind and mind. We think largely in words. A medium made only of words doesn't impose the barrier of any other medium. It is naked and unprotected communication. That's how you get pregnant. May you always be so.

A wonderful argument for reckless reading behavior, if I ever heard one.

In a related story you may have missed, Roger Ebert was also granted his wish to win the New Yorker's caption contest. Take a look at his win and some past entries.

GB store
GB store
Gapers Block presents Tuesday Funk, Chicago's ecclectic monthly reading series.
GB store



About GB Book Club

Book Club is the literary section of Gapers Block, covering Chicago's authors, poets and literary events. More...

Editor: Andrew Huff,
Book Club staff inbox:



 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15