The Life and Death of Deep Reading

I used to be able to sit for hours, reading, lost in other worlds like Tolkien’s Middle Earth, or Emily Dickinson’s poems, or Stan Lee’s New York City. Reading used to be my default activity, my stave against boredom, and my refuge. I trained as a reader, learning how to read, deeply, through interpretive theories and mechanisms such as Marxism, post-structuralism, close reading, reader response theory, and more.

The tactile thrill of fingers touching words in black ink on pages never went away fully, but at some point in the past 10 years a little black…