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Male Twenty-Something’s Reading Jane Austen

The following article, “How to Raise Boys Who Read” appeared in a recent Wall Street Journal and was forwarded to me by my DH. It struck so many chords with me, and touched so astutely upon topics discussed at a recent seminar I hosted that I had to send it along to all of you who are the vanguard of training up sons who are readers! Bravo! The final line in the article will confirm and affirm you in your mission. You can read the article here.

By way of commentary, I must relate a personal incident that proves the article’s thesis in a way that came home to me a few years ago. My eldest son was studying architecture for a year in Florence, Italy. His first few months there were lonely and he suffered from some culture adjustment mixed with acute homesickness. Because he had no technology to fill his empty hours, he picked up Jane Austen. Guess what? He loved her! He was impressed by how much he learned about human nature, how women think, and male/female relationships. Brilliant. Not only that, but because he’s a strapping 6’3″ male who is generally hungry and there is little inexpensive fast food in Italy–he also took up cooking! Brilliant again! Right about the same time NPR broadcast a study that showed that men who read English Literature and like to cook also have a higher libido than men who don’t. How’s that for the power of good books!? So as a fun aside to the academic and cultural importance of great literature, how about an added one–men who read great books are more manly than those who don’t!!

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