I’ve been reading this book… is how I start a lot of my conversations. This time, I just want to share a book I’ve been enjoying entitled How To Read And Why. The author, Harold Bloom, has been a professor at universities like Yale and Harvard and in this small book, he shares a scholarly way to read critically but also elaborates on the joy of reading which is found in the constancy of worlds that are only available through literature.
Watch the video
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In the video, I shared some lines from the book. Here are a few more:
- Do not attempt to improve your neighbor or your neighborhood by what or how you read. Self-Improvement is a large enough project for your mind and spirit.
- Read deeply, not to believe, not to accept, not to contradict. but to learn to share in that one nature that writes and reads.
- How to read poems: wherever possible, memorize them. Silent, intensive rereadings of a shorter poem that truly finds you should be followed by recitations to yourself, until you discover that you are in possession of the poem.
Of the quotes I shared here on the blog or on the video, which one meant the most to you?
I recommend this book for anyone who’s in a reading slump either because they haven’t read anything great lately or because they’ve read what they think is the best book ever and are sure that nothing else will compare so they think it’s better not seek out another book for a while.
I also suggest this one to anyone who wants to read more critically, someone who perhaps didn’t study literature in college but is interested now in building a strong literary base so wants to start reading the Western canon but isn’t really sure how to begin and what they should be looking for once they start.