Pamela Paul is a columnist for The New York Times. She was previously the editor of The New York Times Book Review and oversaw all books coverage at The New York Times. She is the former host of the weekly Book Review podcast for The Times. She is the author and editor of eight books: Rectangle Time (out now), How to Raise a Reader (co-author), My Life with Bob: Flawed Heroine Keeps Book of Books, Plot Ensues, The Starter Marriage and the Future of Matrimony, Pornified, Parenting, Inc., and By the Book: Writers on Literature and the Literary Life. Her most recent book is 100 Things We’ve Lost to the Internet.
The New York Times, April 28, 2021
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Remember all those ingrained habits, cherished ideas, beloved objects, and stubborn preferences from the pre-Internet age? They’re gone.
To some of those things we can say good riddance. But many we miss terribly. Whatever our emotional response to this departed realm, we are faced with the fact that nearly every aspect of modern life now takes place in filtered, isolated corners of cyberspace—a space that has slowly subsumed our physical habitats, replacing or transforming the office, our local library, a favorite bar, the movie theater, and the coffee shop where people met one another’s gaze from across the room. Even as we’ve gained the ability to gather without leaving our house, many of the fundamentally human experiences that have sustained us have disappeared.
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Perfect for story time, New York Times Book Review editor Pamela Paul’s funny and charming story about books, pets, and reading together will enchant readers of all ages.
This spunky, self-assured cat has always loved Rectangle Time–when the boy and the man he lives with curl up with their rectangle and read aloud from it. The cat knows how helpful he is during Rectangle Time, of course–his presence is vital to the very ritual! But when the rectangle starts to get smaller, the stories start to get quieter, and worst of all, the boy no longer needs the cat’s “help,” the cat must find a way to reclaim his part in Rectangle Time, even if slightly different from before.