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jane austen sketchPlain Jane: “A fondness for reading, properly directed, must be an education in itself.”

-Jane Austen in Mansfield Park

I never discovered, until I stood at the front of a classroom of children, that the quickest way to calm a room was to announce it was time for silent reading. If the power of a book to quiet fifteen eleven year-olds in seconds doesn’t convince someone of the importance of literature in schools, I can’t imagine what would.