ISJ November 2016: Book review – Proust and the Squid: the story and science of the reading brain
Reviewed by Maurice Carder
We all read: teachers, students, administrators. And Wolf takes the reader of this book through every aspect of reading, from its origins, to how the type of script shapes the reading brain, why particular writing systems – like English, for example – have such apparent peculiarities of spelling or pronunciation, why an efficient reading brain has more time to think, and, especially important for educators, why reading from an early age is key to future development. The book covers the origins of reading, how the brain adapted itself to the process, and how reading enables the reader to build on previously learned knowledge to acquire a deeper development of their intellectual potential. Wolf presents valid evidence to show that the assumption that simply thinking faster and having more information is better requires vigorous questioning.