Review: How to talk about books you haven’t read by Pierre Bayard

Sometimes a book comes along that just by the title you have to read. In a rather thin book you find between the hard covers a discussion of the love of reading. The different ideas of how to read. Though I found a couple of hyperlinks that meander in the world of /dev/null the rest of the book is a delight to read. If you love reading this book may be for you.

As I read the book I was enamored of the stories from literature that are about books. From the story of an anthropoligist attempting through the works of Shakespeare to explain to African tribal members hamlet. To the story of Umberto Eco (famed owner of the anti-library) and the rose. A story based on knowing what is in a book without having read the book. The key of this little book being that discussion. The investiatio from Eco deduces what is missing from a tomb and knows that his life hangs in the balance. This is an interesting twist. 

A book is a bucket of ideas. In some ways that bucket must be drained to get the full import of the book. However, sometimes there are apples bobbing in that bucket and reading what is important (getting the apples) can be much more satisfying that drinking all the water to find them. This book though I admit freely is not for everybody. Reading a book, about reading books is meta activity and I would suggest you consider what you want. This isn’t a book about shortening the reading task or taking shortcuts to get into the book. This is a book about learning to learn from books. If you are a lover of books this may be a book for you.

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