Those decrying the death of the intellect, and the book, at the hands of the nefarious Internet would do well to recall that the printed page itself was once called the destroyer of education. "Take Q. D. Leavis, author of the stern 1932 jeremiad Fiction and the Reading Public, which bemoans over two-hundred years of declining cognitive abilities and standards. Mass literacy, newspapers, and popular fiction were all for Leavis signs of the slow death of attentive reading. In many ways Leavis was right—Miltonic prose couldn’t thrive in the 19th century, nor could epic verse. But would we have it any other way? Would we surrender the novel, say, so that we could learn to concentrate and memorize properly again?"