Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Why Read?

We wrote recently about bibliomemoirs, books about reading books. What might be called a subset of the bibliomemoir are books that try to answer the question "Why read?" Some of these books are quite literary-canon-minded, discussing reasons to read classics; others tackle a broader scope, including genre fiction, memoirs, and poetry. One book asks the question of how a classic becomes a classic; another offers essays ranging from Virginia Woolf to Jay McInerney discussing their favorite classics.  Probably if you are picking up one of these books, you don't need to be convinced to read; but perhaps you'd like to be reminded of the range of books out there, to see an author's works in a new light, or just want to understand someone else's passionate defense of a book that you dislike.

How to Read and Why by Harold Bloom

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