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Old 01-22-2014, 08:11 PM   #1
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Books about reading (and re-reading)

Occasionally, you see a discussion here "To re-read or not to re-read".

I just finished a book by Wendy Lesser "Nothing Remains the Same: Rereading and Remembering", where she discusses revisiting some authors and works over the course of her life. The book feels more like a series of essays, but there were some interesting chapters, particularly on re-reading Orwell, Paradise Lost, The Tempest, Anna Karenina, and Huck Finn, as she describes the evolution of her responses.

I have her new book, "Why I Read: The Serious Pleasure of Books", and also Pat Conroy's "My Reading Life", on my TBR. Ditto, Lionel Trilling's "The Liberal Imagination"

Can anyone suggest any other books about reading?
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Old 01-22-2014, 09:11 PM   #2
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How about "A History of Reading" by Alberto Manguel?
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Old 01-22-2014, 10:30 PM   #3
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Thanks (oh, my groaning TBR). I believe Robert Fulford mentioned that book in a recent column Why we (still) read? Thanks very much for the reminder.
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Old 01-22-2014, 11:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
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How about "A History of Reading" by Alberto Manguel?
Ah, I see Diesel has it for $7.99. I shouldn't...but I will.

Curious, the Diesel copy indicates it's a "VINTAGE CANADA EDITION, 1998." The sample on the Kindle edition says it's published by "Viking Penguin, a division of Penguin Books USA Inc." Vintage is definitely not the USA variety of Penguin.

The text appears to be the same.

Last edited by TimW; 01-22-2014 at 11:30 PM. Reason: Addendum
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Old 01-23-2014, 09:30 AM   #5
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He was living in Canada at the time it was published. Perhaps that's the source for the version Diesel is selling. I think there was a recent post indicating that Diesel doesn't alwayshave the same georestrictions.
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Old 01-25-2014, 11:02 AM   #6
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About 1/2 way through Jo Walton's book What Makes This Book So Great. The book compiles her blog posts on Tor about her joys of re-reading books. Mostly older SF/Fantasy. It's an insightful and fun read and unfortunately it's giving me too many ideas of books to add to my TBR list.
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Old 01-25-2014, 01:00 PM   #7
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Thanks very much for the suggestion . I'll have a look at that. I have her small change series on my TBR now.
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:13 AM   #8
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"My Reading Life" by Pat Conroy.

I think Virginia Woolf also wrote some books about reading, I think one was called "The Common Reader".
Alan Bennet wrote "The Uncommon Reader"
I haven't read either of these.

Last edited by BookCat; 01-29-2014 at 01:18 AM.
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgaiser View Post
About 1/2 way through Jo Walton's book What Makes This Book So Great. The book compiles her blog posts on Tor about her joys of re-reading books. Mostly older SF/Fantasy. It's an insightful and fun read and unfortunately it's giving me too many ideas of books to add to my TBR list.
Walton's fictional "Among Others" is (among other things) about growing up reading SF and fantasy.
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Old 02-01-2014, 07:16 PM   #10
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Pat Conroy's 'My Reading Life' is a very good read.
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Old 02-02-2014, 10:18 AM   #11
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Alan Bennet wrote "The Uncommon Reader"
A very quick read and absolutely hilarious. It's not so much about reading per se, however, as it is about one particular reader.
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Old 02-04-2014, 09:37 AM   #12
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"Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader" by Anne Fadiman is a nice little collection of short stories.
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Old 02-05-2014, 12:26 PM   #13
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Many thanks for the recommendations. I look forward to following up on them.

Lionel Trilling's "The Liberal Imagination" had some interesting reviews and essays. In particular, "Tacitus Now", "The Immortality Ode" and "F. Scott Fitzgerald".

I'm just starting Alberto Manguel's "A History of Reading". A wonderful book. A charming description of the author as a teenager reading to Jorge Luis Borges.
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Old 02-08-2014, 11:18 AM   #14
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There's also the classic How to Read a Book by Mortimer Adler and the more recent books by Thomas Foster, How to Read Literature Like a Professor and How to Read Novels Like a Professor.
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Old 02-14-2014, 03:42 AM   #15
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Exorcisms of Sty(l)e from Guillermo Cabrera Infante

It's re-readable because it has no plot. It's a book about absurd stuff. Really funny, absurd stuff. It's a really rare book, so chances are english translations are nearly impossible to get. Still, a great recommendation if you ever find it in your local bookshop
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