So you can read my books

Tuesday, May 9, 2017


"Books smell like old people" 
- High School student in New Haven

There is an "Old Person" smell 

( a grassy or greasy odor ) 

but books only carry it psychologically to young people.

{As the skin grows weaker, its natural oils become oxidized more quickly. 

 Fatty acids, which are secreted by the sebaceous glands, react to the oxygen in the air to form nonenal. 

Because it isn't water soluble, nonenal can remain on the skin despite washing, 

even remaining after intense scrubbing. 

Therefore, the smell persists, even in extremely clean environments.}

 Certain ingredients can also help combat nonenal, such as persimmon extract and Japanese green tea.

But let's get back to young people's attitude towards reading books

Teenagers, addicted as they are to texting and FB, probably read more words than ever ...

just in shorter, concentration- reducing, tidbits. 

When they become twelve or thirteen, kids often stop reading seriously. 

The boys veer off into sports or computer games, 

the girls into friendship in all its wrenching mysteries and satisfactions of favor and exclusion.

 Much of their social life, for boys as well as girls, is now conducted on smartphones, 

where teenagers don’t have to confront one another. 

Oh, the terror of eye contact! 

 A recent summary of studies cited by Common Sense Media indicates 

that American teenagers are less likely to read “for fun” at seventeen than at thirteen. 

 I know that reading literature, history, science, and the rest of the liberal-arts canon 

helps produce three-dimensional human beings. 

Such beliefs defy trying to prove them with statistics. 

Common sense is often not a matter of math but of logic.

But how is a taste for such reading created in the first place?

What Do You Think Of All This? 


  1. Hi Roland - I'm not the best reader - but then I read a wide range of things ... sadly books being last on the list - I look at so much - the brain is full of thoughts and ideas. When I do get some space I find I just want a quiet brain ... my brain-space. Thankfully I have over the years read a lot and have a pretty good grounding of words ...but can quite see we need to encourage kids to read to learn and develop their vocabulary, their creativity and feed their imagination ... not in sound bite mode. Cheers Hilary

    1. Sorry to be so late to reply: work has been crazy and the flu bug has bitten. We think with our supply of words -- if it is limited so will be our thinking! :(

  2. I was a voracious reader when I was a kid and that continued through high school despite band and other outside activities. Too much competing for kids' time these days. The lack of real human contact is just as bad as not reading.

    1. Tech is unwittingly starving our children and blunting their ability to connect with another human being. :-(