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[Susan notes: I am so glad that someone answered the outrageous opinion piece about the books necessary to gain 'world knowledge.' The author of that revealed only that she's drunk way too much Common Core Kool-Aid.

I'd just add that "world knowledge" is much more than facts that can be called up in Wikipedia.]

Published in New York Times

To the editor

Re Some Books Are More Equal Than Others (Sunday Review, June 24): Claire Needell Hollander notes that while a 13-year-old may be entranced by "The Hunger Games," he will not gain any "verbal and world knowledge" from the series. But she misses the point: The reader is learning that a book has the power to entrance, something that new readers need to learn and all readers need to be reminded of occasionally.

Being reminded of the joy of reading, particularly after a school year spent reading books that may not have entranced at all, is of huge value. While it is surely good if readers of all ages are also learning life skills or global politics or ecology, no teacher or parent ΓΆ€” or indeed, reader ΓΆ€” should discount the value of reading for pleasure.

It is a hobby that can be at least as entertaining as television or Angry Birds and yet is being discarded by many who are made to feel that it must always be work.

Laura N. Arneson

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