Book suggestions for deepening your reading pleasure

  • Robert DiYanni's book You Are What You Read (2021) shows what productive reading looks and feels like when engaging with the minds and hearts of writers.
  • Martin Puchner's book The Written World (2017) describes how major literary works imprint the cultures they embody and influence the values of those cultures.
  • Alberto Manguel's book A Reader on Reading (2011) explains that, in a broad sense, the activity of reading defines us as people.

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How to gain more from your reading | Psyche Guides

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We become what we read

Literary works entertain us, teach us and influence us. When we read literary works, we enrich our understanding of others, the world, and ourselves. In a sense, we become what we read.

However, the ability to recognize how the author accomplishes these things will allow you to further deepen your appreciation and gain more benefits from literary works.

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  • Pay close attention to the text from the beginning. It will prepare you to reflect, participate, and ask questions.   
  • Read and then read again. There are so many things that happen in literature that you cannot understand everything the first time you read it.   
  • Read slowly. Read more ambitions work slower. Take time to enjoy the way the author expresses his thoughts and reflect on what he tells you.   
  • Reading some parts of the text aloud will help you notice what you might miss when reading silently.

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Steps to becoming a critical reader

It is important to understand the basic structure and content of the text you are reading.

  • Consider the purpose for reading, like gathering information.
  • Think about the title. What does it tell you about what the book or essay is about?
  • Reflect on what you already know about the topic. Do you have a preconceived idea of what to expect?
  • Skim the opening sentence of each paragraph under the headings.
  • Read carefully, marking the places you find confusing or significant.
  • Identify key arguments the author makes, along with important terms and interesting ideas.
  • Make notes in the margin or on a separate sheet of paper.
  • Question the sources cited by the author.
  • What is the one question you would like to ask the author?
  • What did you like best about the work as a whole? What bothered you?

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Become a Critical Reading Pro With These Tips

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Tsundoku

Many of us have a desire to read. We buy books, but then the demands of work and family catch up with us, and we never get round to reading the books. The Japanese calls it tsundoku.

A US survey found that more than one-third of adults report a desire to read more books. If you're one of these people, even though you love books, reading them is the least important thing in your life. You may do it at the end of the day, or perhaps when you're on holiday.

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How to read more books | Psyche Guides

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The Lost Art Of Reading

In the digital age, where reading material is abundant, sustained and deep reading is falling out of favor. Readers have lost the 'cognitive patience' that they had reading complex works in the pre-internet age.

Deep reading, that was once natural, is now a struggle, thanks to the explosion of shallow material and reduced attention spans.

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Stop Complaining That Being Online Keeps You From Reading Books! Instead, Read a Book.

slate.com