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'We were never born to read' begins Maryanne Wolf in this path breaking exploration of how our brains learnt to read. 'No specific genes ever dictated reading's development. Human beings invented reading only a few thousand years ago. And with this invention, we changed the very organization of our brain, which in turn expanded the ways we were able to think, which altered the intellectual evolution of our species'. From the history of the earliest known examples of written language, to whether reading online really is making us 'stupider', and why dyslexia can be a gift, "Proust and the Squid" will ensure you never again take for granted your ability to absorb the written word.