The Decline of Reading: QED

August 9, 2011 by  
Filed under Featured, Clips

The American NBC nightly newscast for Aug. 9, 2011 offered a minute-and-twenty-second analysis of the London riots under the Dickensian heading “A Tale of Two Cities.” The network’s London correspondent, Martin Fletcher, concluded his report with this voice-over on top of visuals of shattered glass: “A final thought that may say a lot about our times: in this shopping centre every store had been looted but one – the bookstore.” Closing shot: a pristine Waterstone’s window display in otherwise trashed shopping centre. Nuff said.

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Vancouver, Aug. 10, 2011

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Stan Persky taught philosophy at Capilano University in N. Vancouver, B.C. He received the 2010 B.C. Lieutenant-Governor's Award for Literary Excellence. His most recent books are Reading the 21st Century: Books of the Decade, 2000-2009 (McGill-Queen's, 2011), Post-Communist Stories: About Cities, Politics, Desires (Cormorant, 2014), and Letter from Berlin: Essays 2015-2016 (Dooney's, 2017).