Tag: Guide

How to Read: A beginner’s guide

A few years back, I purchased a book called “How to Read a Book” by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren. It was originally published in 1940, and is described as a “living classic” on the blurb. Yet it fails in one key aspect – How does one learn how to read THIS book? Or, indeed, to select a book like “How to Read a Book” in the first place?

Clearly, this “classic guide to intelligent reading” is, just like the cookbook “How to Boil Water” I reviewed here some time ago, more advanced than it lets on.

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Books On Books: How to talk about books about books

I love books. So much so, I even love books about books. And Pierre Bayard’s “How to Talk About Books You Haven’t Read” is among the best.

It is possible to have a passionate conversation about a book that one has not read, including, perhaps, especially, with someone else who has not read it…

Pierre Bayard, How to Talk About Books You Haven’t Read

If, like me, you cannot fathom walking into a bookshop or library without thinking “how on earth will I read them all?”, this book is for you. It is a salve for this precise emotion.

Bayard argues the merits of not reading. In fact, the entire first section of the book describes “Ways of Not Reading“. “Unread” books are divided into books “you don’t know”, “you have skimmed”, “you have heard of”, and “you have forgotten”.

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How to Boil Water: An Uncommonly Commonsense Guide

The sound of the kettle boiling in the background has gotten me thinking about the best drink to accompany a read. Although I am, as a rule, a coffee drinker, for some reason, tea particularly appeals to me when I’m reading.

Of course, whether you prefer tea or coffee, the most important ingredient is boiled water.

Fortunately, there there is a book called with this very title. “How to Boil Water”. I kid you not. Unfortunately, however, this book does not actually contain instructions on how to boil water.

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