The Closing of the American Book by Andrew Solomon Essay

The Closing of the American Book by Andrew Solomon Essay

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In “The Closing of the American Book,” published in the New York Times Magazine, Andrew Solomon argues about how the decline of literary reading is a crisis in national health, politics, and education. Solomon relates the decline of reading with the rise of electronic media. He believes that watching television and sitting in front of a computer or a video screen instead of reading can cause the human brain to turn off, and lead to loneliness and depression. He also argues that with the decrease of reading rates, there will no longer be weapons against “absolutism” and “terrorism,” leading to the United States political failure in these battles. The last point Solomon makes is that there is no purpose behind America being one of the most literate societies in history if people eradicate this literacy, and so he encourages everyone to help the society by increasing reading rates and making it a “mainstay of community.” Solomon tries to show the importance of reading in brain development and he encourages people to read more by emphasizing the crisis and dangers behind the declination of reading.
Andrew Solomon has some valid arguments in his article, and he tries to persuade the readers through logos, pathos, and ethos. Solomon wants the readers to understand the importance of reading, and how its decline can be harmful to the nation. To reinforce his arguments, Solomon shares a variety of examples, for instance, he mentions that reading helps improve memory and concentration, and the decline of reading is causing mental “atrophy.” He also calls upon the readers to take some sort of action to raise reading rates and help the society. This can grant the readers a form of power and control over the crisis that will lead to an em...


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...ticle, Solomon has an unpleasant attitude of blaming others and complaining about the issue without proposing any real solutions. It also seems that he divides people into two categories: readers (good) and non-readers (bad), and he look down upon those who do not read. This will cause the readers to be emotionally uncomfortable and to reject his arguments and opinions because of the bias behind it.
The op-ed writing of Solomon does bring some insight about reading to readers, but overall it does not do a good job as a persuasive argument because of all the biases involved, along with the lack of evidence and poor logic. His article is too opinion-based and very vague, and his views are very linear without considering the bigger picture and all the other factors that can affect his argument. Overall this article was not a good model of inspiration or encouragement.

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