How to Read and Why, Paperback
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


A new book by America's leading literary critic on the uses of deep reading.

Practical, inspirational and learned, How to Read and Why is Bloom's manifesto for the preponderance of written culture.

In the vastly influential The Western Canon, Harold Bloom outlined what we should read to understand a greater depth of the individual self.

How to Read and Why continues the argument and focusses on how we use literature in order to gain deeper self-awareness.

Poems, stories, novels, plays and parables are all analysed as forms of writing as immersion, the language of individuality and inwardness: Shakespeare's sonnets, the short stories of Hemingway and de Cervantes, the novels of Proust and Calvino, Sophocles's Oedipus Rex and Mark's Gospel.

Harold Bloom also addresses the idea of why we read: increased individuality, respite from visual bombardment, a return to 'deep feeling' and 'deep thinking'.

How to Read and Why is an essential book for any reader, an introduction to the world of written culture, an inspirational self-help book for students and teachers alike.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 288 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Literary theory
  • ISBN: 9781841150390



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That title is really offputting, and he is getting a bit repetitive, but his enthusiasm is still infectious. (And he still writes beautifully.)I had never read much in the way of short stories - always avoided them. After absorbing the opening section of this book, I had read collections by Turgenev, Chekhov, Hemingway and Flannery O'Connor. How can that be a bad thing?

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