The Art of Reading
A beautiful celebratory tribute to the powers of one of our most undervalued skills – an ideal gift for the avid reader. ‘What you are doing right now is, cosmically speaking, against the odds.’ As young children, we are taught to read, but soon go on to forget just how miraculous a process it is, this turning of scratches and dots into understanding, unease and inspiration. Perhaps we need to stop and remember, stop and learn again how to read better. Damon Young shows us how to do exactly this, walking alongside some of the greatest readers who light a path for us – Borges, Plato, Woolf. Young reads passionately, selectively, surprisingly – from superhero noir to speculative realism, from Heidegger to Heinlein – and shows his reader how cultivating their inner critic can expand their own lives as well as the lives of those on the pages of the books they love.
'For Damon Young, writers are like secret agents gone rogue, grabbing us by the lapels and inviting us into a realm of delicious ambiguity. The Art of Reading is an intimately conspiratorial book - erudite, surprising, and persuasive.' -- Henry Hitchings author of Browse: the world in bookshops 'An erudite and engaging enquiry into the transformative power of reading.' -- Melissa Harrison author of Rain 'Damon Young's The Art of Reading is a brilliant, wide-ranging exploration of the nature and value of reading, a serious philosopher's serious game with literature. Witty and graceful it does what it sets out to do, to turn black text into an illuminated theatre of mind, heart and consciousness as it passes through the teasing virtues and vices of its main headings. By taking a few key texts and introducing them to each other Young expands into the vast universe of his and our remembered and potential reading.' -- George Szirtes 'Reading about reading feels like it should be confusing, but Damon Young makes it both intriguing and insightful.' -- Dean Burnett author of The Idiot Brain
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