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Proust And The Squid The Story and Science of the Reading Brain
by Maryanne Wolf | Science
Registered by itpdx of Portland, Oregon USA on 5/19/2008
Average 8 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by sing-on-a-star): to be read


9 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by itpdx from Portland, Oregon USA on Monday, May 19, 2008

8 out of 10

This is a fascinating book about reading. First Wolf tells us how reading and writing arose and evolved. Then she takes us through the brain of a child as it learns to read. Next she shows us what a "differently organized" (dyslexic) brain teaches us. Lastly Wolf tries to decide what this means to us as we start gathering information and communicating digitally.

Some interesting things that I learned: readers of different writing systems use some different parts of their brains when reading; the brain changes as we learn to read; the brains of dyslexic readers develop differently when they learn to read.

I found this book a challenging read. Lots of new vocabulary for me--I am not sure I have my phonemes and graphemes straight. And all of sudden I found I was reading self-consciously--how often do I backtrack? how far ahead am I previewing visually? which phrases flow? etc.--as I learned more about how fluent readers read.

I recommend this book to teachers from pre-school to college level, but particularly pre-school through primary grades, if they haven't gotten this information from other sources. I would also recommend that parents and parents in waiting read this to see what an amazing journey their child is on and also so they can watch for signs of the "differently organized" brain. And I would recommend it to anyone who knows someone who is dyslexic so they can begin to understand how a dyslexic brain sees the world differently. 


Journal Entry 2 by itpdx at controlled release, A Bookcrossing member -- Controlled Releases on Thursday, December 18, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Released 9 yrs ago (12/19/2008 UTC) at controlled release, A Bookcrossing member -- Controlled Releases

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This will soon be on its way to wingedman to fill a wish on his wish list. 


Journal Entry 3 by wingrem_NON-938592wing on Monday, December 29, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Thank you! I'll get 'The Bushwhacked Piano' off to you in a couple of weeks. 


Journal Entry 4 by wingrem_NON-938592wing on Friday, July 17, 2009

9 out of 10

This is not a "fun" book to read but it is fascinating and filled with wonderful information. I found myself stopping to make notes and write down questions that came to me as I was reading which in turn will send me looking for more information. I love a book that can both teach and leave me hungering for even more knowledge... this one definitely did that. 


Journal Entry 5 by wingrem_NON-938592wing on Friday, July 24, 2009

This book has not been rated.

BOOKRAY

1. sunfi - Ohio
2. amcamp1644 - Pennsylvania
3. Hayes13 - Italy
4. mikime - Italy
5. Annimanni - Finland 


Journal Entry 6 by wingrem_NON-938592wing at by mail, a fellow bookcrosser -- Controlled Releases on Friday, July 24, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Released 8 yrs ago (7/26/2009 UTC) at by mail, a fellow bookcrosser -- Controlled Releases

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Sending to sunfi. Enjoy! 


Journal Entry 7 by sunfi from Alexandria, Virginia USA on Tuesday, July 28, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Arrived safe and sound in Ohio, I have a number of other rings/rays ahead of this but I'll get them on my way as soon as I can. I keep my profile updated (weekly) so you can always see how close they are to the top. Thanks WingedMan for including me and mailing this to me. 


Journal Entry 8 by sunfi from Alexandria, Virginia USA on Sunday, August 23, 2009

This book has not been rated.

The first part that I read I enjoyed, I just don't have the time and energy to focus fully on this now which would be a tremendous disservice to this book. I'll have to try and pick it up again when life and work settles down a little. I'll have this on its way to the next reader as soon as I receive their address, thanks WingedMan for including me and mailing it. 


Journal Entry 9 by sunfi at -- Mail or by hand-rings, RABCK, meetings, Ohio USA on Friday, August 28, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Released 8 yrs ago (8/28/2009 UTC) at -- Mail or by hand-rings, RABCK, meetings, Ohio USA

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On its way to the next reader, it should arrive in the next few weeks. Enjoy! 


Journal Entry 10 by amcamp1644 from Rockville, Maryland USA on Tuesday, September 08, 2009

7 out of 10

Just picked it up today. I have one book to finish and then it'll be on to this one.

EDIT: Finished it and PM'd the next person on the list. 


Journal Entry 11 by amcamp1644 at Dalmatia, Pennsylvania USA on Saturday, September 19, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Released 8 yrs ago (9/18/2009 UTC) at Dalmatia, Pennsylvania USA

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Sent on to next person on the list. Enjoy. 


Journal Entry 12 by wingHayes13wing from Roma, Lazio Italy on Monday, October 05, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Arrived safely this morning... thank you! (I still can't believe how much it costs to send things via the US postal service!!)

Looks fabulous, can't wait to read it. 


Journal Entry 13 by wingHayes13wing at Roma, Lazio Italy on Friday, October 16, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Released 8 yrs ago (10/19/2009 UTC) at Roma, Lazio Italy

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Sending this on to mikime... we live in the same city yet have to use the postman as our go between... oh well!
* * * * * * * * * *

I learned a lot from Maryanne Wolf's history of reading, starting with the meaning of the title: The squid taught us (in the 1950s) how neurons fire and transmit to each other and gave later scientists the wherewithal to become neuroscientists. Proust saw reading as a way for humans to discover myriad realities, to go where no man has gone before (at least until Captain Kirk arrived on the scene!)

The book begins with a short history of writing systems, starting with the first, which was in reality an accounting system: clay tokens enclosed in clay envelopes, impressed with markings to show what commodity was being tracked. There is some scientific instruction about how our brains work as we are reading (I learned that people reading in Chinese, Japanese and English use different parts parts of their brains while reading, because of the basic natures of the three languages). Each section is introduced by a passage describing how famous writers (Hermann Hesse, Graham Greene, Sartre) felt about reading.

I learned too that the human brain was not designed to read, that reading is accomplished by "recycling" brain structures that were originally for other purposes. There is a very interesting section which speaks about what happens when the brain is not able to re-invent itself, when it cannot learn to read properly, and why dyslexia is often accompanied by great talents of a different nature (artistic, organizational, athletic). This part was particularly interesting to me as most of the members of my father's family suffer from dyslexia.

Ms. Wolf leaves us with some questions about the future of reading:

p 220-221:

When all is said and done, of course, Socrates' worries were not so much about literacy as about what might happen to knowledge if the young had unguided, uncritical access to information. ... Will unguided information lead to an illusion of knowledge, and thus curtail the more difficult, time-consuming, critical thought processes that lead to knowledge itself? Will the split-second immediacy of information gained from a search engine and the sheer volume of what is available derail the slower, more deliberative processes that deepen our understanding of complex concepts, of another's inner thought processes, and of our own consciousness?


An interesting book. I was, just as Socrates feared ;-) obliged to read it rather quickly as it must go to the next participant in the book ring. I would have liked to mull over it for a few months at least. I will re-read it at some point and probably even buy my own copy.

Thank you for including me in this ring. 


Journal Entry 14 by wingmikimewing from Roma, Lazio Italy on Tuesday, October 27, 2009

This book has not been rated.

This arrived yesterday I think, but has just reached my hands. I'm looking forward to reading it, but I have another bookring to finish at the moment.
Thanks Hayes13 for sending it!

Miki 


Journal Entry 15 by wingmikimewing from Roma, Lazio Italy on Monday, November 23, 2009

8 out of 10

This was a very interesting and definitely informative book. It took me a bit longer to read it because of its technical parts, but I was completely fascinated by all of its explanations about the way our brains adapt its ciruits in order to learn to read, one way or another. I totally share the author's enthusiasm about reading books and thus discovering new thoughts and new worlds (and ourselves), and yet I was surprised at the relevance that the invention of writing (and reading) had on the human brain and on its thinking abilities.
It was quite an exciting experience, reading about reading!
Thank you so much for the ring!
This is going on to Annimanni as soon as I can go to a post office.

EDIT: I sent the book on Nov. 25th.

Miki 


Journal Entry 16 by wingAnnimanniwing from Espoo, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Monday, November 30, 2009

This book has not been rated.

The book has arrived in Finland, thank you! 


Journal Entry 17 by wingAnnimanniwing at Espoo, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Monday, June 28, 2010

This book has not been rated.

I'm so very sorry for keeping this book for as long as I have! I've read it in between other, "more urgent", books and have finally finished, although I must admit I only browsed through the last section.

The first two sections I enjoyed immensely though. I've always been fascinated with the process of how one learns to read and I'm glad I now know a bit more about it. I learned to read at four without anyone teaching me and I've always wondered how that came to be! And now I'm the mother of a one-year-old who's in the process of learning to understand spoken language (so far he only speaks three words, sort of ;)) and that is very exciting to follow! I think I picked up a few tips on how to encourage him in his quest to become a fluent speaker and reader.

Thank you very much for sharing this book! I'm now off to find it a new reader :) 


Journal Entry 18 by wingAnnimanniwing at Espoo, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Thursday, July 01, 2010

This book has not been rated.

Released 8 yrs ago (7/2/2010 UTC) at Espoo, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland

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This book is now off to ApoloniaX in Germany as she claimed it in the European Pay It Forward Book Relay. Enjoy! 


Journal Entry 19 by wingApoloniaXwing at Bremen, Bremen Germany on Monday, July 05, 2010

This book has not been rated.

Received the book today!
Thank you for offering it at the book relay, Annimanni! 


Journal Entry 20 by wingApoloniaXwing at Bremen, Bremen Germany on Saturday, April 09, 2011

8 out of 10

I finally got around to reading this book about reading... Sometimes it took quite a bit of energy (and I had to look up a few words, being neither native English speaker nor biologist), but it's a worthwhile read, lots of interesting information. Recommendable!!! 


Journal Entry 21 by wingApoloniaXwing at By hand, RABCK -- Controlled Releases on Wednesday, September 21, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Released 6 yrs ago (9/21/2011 UTC) at By hand, RABCK -- Controlled Releases

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Given to sing-on-a-star, during our lovely mini meet-up in Manchester.
It was so great to meet you! 


Journal Entry 22 by sing-on-a-star at Manchester, Greater Manchester United Kingdom on Wednesday, September 21, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Wow! What a well travelled book. It looks really interesting and will satisfy my professional life as well as my love for reading. ApoloniaX, I'm really pleased you made it to Manchester. It was lovely to meet you at last!  


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