Last year I came across The Common Reader Vol. I at a Kinokuniya Bookstore in Bangkok and ordered Vol. II immediately. In fact, these famed two volumes have been published in various editions since 1932 and I've tried to buy them for a long time. Enticed by the simple title, I've since decided to read them all as soon as I can own them. I think her "How Should One Read a Book?" is definitely worth reading and applying into our reading since we can learn a lot from its 13 pages and, definitely, few scholars can surpass her unique views, exposition and brilliance. For instance,
The only advice, indeed, that one person can give another about reading is to take no advice, to follow your own instincts, to use your own reason, to come to your own conclusions. (p. 258)
If we could banish all such preconceptions when we read, that would be an admirable beginning. Do not dictate to your author; try to become him. Be his fellow-worker and accomplice. (p. 259)
The first process, to receive impressions with the utmost understanding, is only half the process of reading; it must be completed, if we are to get the whole pleasure from a book, by another.... But not directly. Wait for the dust of reading to settle; for the conflict and the questioning to die down; walk, talk, pull the dead petals from a rose, of all asleep. (p. 266)
I'd like to conclude this review by my note written at the essay's last sentence: i.e. loving reading is a reward itself!
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