Saturday, November 10, 2007

How to Talk About Books You Haven’t Read - Pierre Bayard - Books - Review - New York Times

I think I'll put this on my year-end holiday reading list; read the full review

Bayard’s critique of reading involves practical and theoretical as well as social considerations, and at times it seems like a tongue-in-cheek example of reader-response criticism, which emphasizes the reader’s role in creating meaning. He wants to show us how much we lie about the way we read, to ourselves as well as to others, and to assuage our guilt about the way we actually read and talk about books. “I know few areas of private life, with the exception of finance and sex, in which it’s as difficult to obtain accurate information,” he writes. There are many ways of relating to books that are not acknowledged in educated company, including skimming, skipping, forgetting and glancing at covers.

How to Talk About Books You Haven’t Read - Pierre Bayard - Books - Review - New York Times

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