Weekend Reading: August 2017

Weekend Reading: August 2017

Image: Theo van Rysselberghe, A Reading in the Garden, 1902, [Public Domain] via WikiArt.org

Happy Friday! We’ve scoured the web for thought-provoking articles and essays for you to enjoy in celebration of the weekend.

What’s the difference between reading alone and reading with others? Literary Hub published an excerpt from a new book that explores that exact question, Abigail Williams’ The Social Life of Books: Reading Together in the Eighteenth-Century Home. Williams explores the “history of sociable reading,” shedding light on a time when volumes of verse and prose were read aloud “in many homes as a familiar assortment of readable extracts to while away an afternoon or evening in company.” Williams writes:

By considering the life of books read out loud, we can also start to see and hear the orality in the history of the book. The sharing of reading is evident both in the material form of books and in their reception history. Print sizes, book formats, and genres of writing were shaped by their suitability for performance. . . Focusing on the performed and spoken nature of printed text gives us new insights into the way 18th-century literature was valued by its readers, forcing us to think about texts with audiences rather than readers, texts that were, as the great cultural historian Robert Darnton puts it, ‘better heard than seen.’”

Elsewhere on the Internet:

Harvard Business Review looks at a new study on unconscious bias in the workplace, which found that employees are more likely to disengage or leave if their boss is exclusive or unfair.

How do we create healthy workplaces? Paula Davis-Laack outlines five beneficial practices including the importance of psychological safety in Psychology Today.

Reader’s Digest dives into a fascinating 2016 study by the Yale School of Public Health which determines that “people who read fiction or nonfiction, ­poetry or prose for as little as 30 minutes a day over several years were living an average of two years longer than people who didn’t read anything at all.”

Studies show that people within the field of economics are historically resistant to interdisciplinary learning. But in a new book, two Northwestern University professors demonstrate that economists have much to learn from the humanities.

Books@Work partner Susan Sweeney has made a concerted effort to build employee engagement and empowerment as the president of GGB Bearing Technology and her work is profiled in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

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Maredith Sheridan

Maredith Sheridan

Maredith Sheridan is a Development Communications Associate at the Cleveland Orchestra and a part-time member of the Books@Work team. She continues to write posts for our blog.