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Why are books so important in this distracted day and age? Wait, did you say that or did I? Los Angeles Times book reviewer — or critic, depending on how hard he slammed your last magnum opus — David Ulin discusses and signs The Lost Art of Reading (Sasquatch Books, $12.95). More importantly, he reads from it, too — leaving out “reads” from the “discusses” and “signs” trifecta just seems heartless. Distractions, in this rocket-paced modern era, are symptomatic of the larger issue: being able to live inside your own head. That is the true disengagement — with one's own self — that books tend to help center you by bringing you more in touch with your own mind. So why is literature important? What does it offer to — as Styx once put it — the modren man? It offers, as Ulin will so deftly demonstrate, a way to quiet the mind, which without purpose and focus would be nothing. Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz; Wed., Oct. 27, 7:30 p.m., free. (323) 660-1175, skylightbooks.com. –D.C.

Wed., Oct. 27, 7:30 p.m., 2010

LA Weekly