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Power of Reading: From Socrates to Twitter

By Serena Kutchinsky   December 2015

Power of readingby Frank Furedi (Bloomsbury, £20)

Reading is a risky business. Or at least that is how critics in the 18th century once saw it when they described the dangers of bilbiomania—an affliction caused by the over-consumption of books. Packed with a wealth of literary titbits, including quotations from, among others, Geoffrey Chaucer, Friedrich Nietzsche and Anthony Trollope (some are more relevant than others), this comprehensive and erudite study is a love letter to literacy.

Frank Furedi charts painstakingly the changing attitudes to reading through the centuries from Cicero’s attempts to…

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