This, in an elliptical way, is what Noah was getting at. How do things stick to us in a culture where information and ideas are up so quickly that we have no time to assess one before another takes its place? How does reading maintain its hold on our imagination, or is that question even worth asking anymore? Noah may not be a reader, but he is hardly immune to the charms of a lovely sentence; a few weeks after our conversation at the dinner table, he told me he had finished The Great Gatsby and that the last few chapters had featured the most beautiful writing he’d ever read. “Yes, of course,” I told him, pleased at the observation, but I couldn’t help thinking back to our earlier talk about the novel, which had ended with Noah standing up and saying, in a tone as blunt as a lance thrust: “This is why no one reads anymore.”From Is Literature Dead?