If you are reading this post, then you are certain about the importance of ‘reading’.
To acquire knowledge with aim of increasing one’s understanding, is reading enough? The answer is yes, but the question remains, how?
We need to think about how we read and Mortimer Adler’s How to Read a Book is a perfect place to start with. Published in 1940, it immediately became a bestseller, and since that time the book has been updated many times, famously and notably by Charles van Doren in the 1970’s.
Most of the times, we think reading is something that you can do or you cannot – that is you can either read or not. The truth, however, is that reading is a skill that can be improved with knowledge and practice.
The goal of reading determines how you read. If you’re reading for entertainment, you’re going to read a lot differently and likely different material than if you’re reading to increase understanding. There’s nothing wrong in reading for entertainment but ask yourself, are you really learning anything new? Continue reading “How to Read a Book?”
David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest turned twenty this year and a year ago when I reviewed it, I did mention that, I am quoting myself, “Reading INFINITE JEST was a task waiting to be done for quite a long of time.” Indeed it’s a task. Reading any book above thousands pages, is a big task for me. Infinite Jest was first of its kind and one of its kind for me. After it, I had courage to read books like Tolstoy’s War and Peace, Dickens’ Bleak House, the list is a little bit longer than I expected.
Reading a massive novel means that a reader is willing to be attentive to a period of time in which he completes the task of reading that book. In this particular period, the reader’s attention span can be distracted due to daily activities and a thing called life. What tends a reader to read such massive works? (Another question can also be put here: what tends a writer to write such a massive work? But we are leaving the writing part for some time later.) Well, the one major factor I have found in every lengthy book is the start is important. The start of the text, is what will make a reader curious about it and such that the force of curiosity drives the reader to complete the book.
The start of Infinite Jest wasn’t extraordinary but it was enough for one to be engrossed to. Many might not agree, but that is how I felt since I have never read Wallace’s works before and neither had I read that kind of writing style. I seldom think about reading Infinite Jest one more time, however I know the outcome will be again, disappointing. It was the ending that did not work for me. Yes, the ending of any text is as essential as the beginning but it is not in my hands (or yours), to end a book in a way we want. The ending of the book does not at all depends on the few mere pages of what happens when to whom but it actually depends on the structure of the book.The structure of the book is essential to handle the complexity, if there are going to be a 1000 pages, there is going to be some complexity and not just words pen down in abstract manner. The structure of the book must cope with its characters regardless of the writing style of a writer.
This is what Infinite Jest made me understand.
Which David Foster Wallace book have you read recently/last?
What do you think about massive books?
Check out this link: Five David Foster Wallace Essays You Should Read
It’s time to look back upon the best of Confessions of a Readaholic 2015- ‘best’ being the composition of articles you read and shared most and those I took pleasure in writing.
What to Learn from Dante’s Inferno?
Read the article here
The Unknown van Gogh
Read the article here
Marcel Proust on Reading and Dying
Read the article here Continue reading “Best of Confessions of a Readaholic 2015”
I usually read 90 to 110 books a year as I have only been recording my reading habit through a widget on Goodreads.com called Yearly Reading Challenge from past four years. It’s fun thing to do, you get to know exact statistics like how many number of pages one has read in total or a graph showing books read by you in the year they were published. It can also go otherwise for some of us, like having no time to read, and your ‘yearly reading challenge’ displaying that you are 3 books behind your schedule. Then some of us might force our way to do so.
You are forgetting the whole point of reading. I do not read books for these mere statistics, I read books because of the benefits it offers. If you develop a habit of reading books, at least 5 to 10 pages a day, you will become smarter over the years, this self improvement thing is extremely important aspect for being an adult. A book doesn’t have to be a self-help rather a fiction, science or philosophical work which is full of ideas that you cannot gather by skimming articles reading online. Continue reading “Why Bother Reading More?”
It is going to be three years and some months this month in the business of blogging. I am glad I am still going on. Earlier when I started blogging I did not think much about how am I going to take it forward or will I ever run out of ideas and blog posts some day? That idea of running out of blog posts sometimes still haunts me today, mostly when I am not writing a blog post. It’s okay I guess with a blog and an audience(of course, you guys) comes a greater responsibility.
I must say I enjoy blogging. I enjoy writing posts, I enjoy keeping a word limit for every post and trying not to exceed it, I enjoy sharing my views and opinions, and I enjoy when people give their feedback. I am glad to made some friends here.
I think there were times when I used to think that I will soon burn out and stop blogging but I guess if you take your time in doing the thing, you never burn out and run off the ideas. Another thing this blog drives me to do is to read books. Books and books and more books. I can say because of the blog I have read a vast variety of books. I get to know about a new book which I have never heard or read, almost every week. Continue reading “Things I Have Learned About Blogging”
Alain de Botton’s How Proust Can Change Your Life? tries to find an inspiration and explore various themes out of Proust’s essays, letters, and his fictional work. It’s a clever book with an amusing and an evoking title. No prior knowledge of Proust or his epic, seven volume novel In Search of Lost Time is necessary in order to read and enjoy this book but after reading it, half of you will go for the first volume of In Search of Lost Time if you haven’t read Proust’s work before.
How Proust Can Change Your Life? reflects not only on Proustian philosophy, but the way Proust’s life (as an habitual hypochondriac and Mama’s boy) was almost comically at odds with his logical ideas. Proust had a curiously inspiring vision of the meaning of life and how to live it. He explored in his most famous work, In Search of Lost Time, the dynamic nature of family, love, death, pain, friendship, dating and most essential to all of his ideas, how to open your eyes to the world around you.
The subtitle of this small book , “Not a Novel” is a hint to its reader that it’s an exploration of Proust’s world. Continue reading “Book Review: How Proust Can Change Your Life? by Alain de Botton”