How Should One Read a Book?

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Pub Date 12 Oct 2020 | Archive Date 19 Oct 2020
Laurence King Publishing Ltd | Laurence King Publishing

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'Where are we to begin? How are we to bring order into this multitudinous chaos and so get the deepest and widest pleasure from what we read?'

Published for the first time as a standalone volume, Virginia Woolf's short, impassioned essay, How Should One Read a Book? celebrates the enduring importance of great literature. In this timeless manifesto on the written word, rediscover the joy of reading and the power of a good book to change the world.

One of the most significant modernist writers of the 20th Century, Virginia Woolf and her visionary essays are as relevant today as they were nearly one hundred years ago.

Features a new introduction by Sheila Heti.

'Where are we to begin? How are we to bring order into this multitudinous chaos and so get the deepest and widest pleasure from what we read?'

Published for the first time as a standalone volume...

A Note From the Publisher

UK edition: Exclusive pre-release for Bookshop Day 2020

UK edition: Exclusive pre-release for Bookshop Day 2020

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781786277527
PRICE £7.99 (GBP)

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Average rating from 155 members

Featured Reviews

Absolutely loved reading this gem of a an essay by Woolf, published with a very interesting and engaging Introduction as well as an Afterword. Right from the opening of the essay to its closing lines, i was completely immersed. A must read for all readers. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing the ARC.

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Virginia Woolf was one of the most incredibly writers of her time. I couldn't be more blessed to be given the chance to read this book and the afterword by Sheila Heti was lovely.

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an advance reader copy in exchange for an honest review.

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This essay is a speech Virginia Woolf once gave about reading. In this edition, it is prefaced by an introduction by Sheila Heti, who also wrote a short essay about the importance of having creative friends and the difference between friends criticizing your works and critiques.

Virginia Woolfs speech boils down to: Read more so you can understand more about what you're reading, and don't trust other people to think for you when you can easily do it yourself.
Apparently, it's also found in the Common Reader, which I haven't read yet, because you know it is - there are always so many books you'd like to read!

I liked all three parts. It was fun, it made me want to pick up the next book as soon as possible.
And I kept thinking about The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett, both because of the name and also because it is about the love for literature, and sinking yourself into stories.

In the beginning of her speech, there are some parts that didn't age well, like the use of the generic masculine, but all in all, I was impressed by how relevant her words are still today.

I recieved a copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.

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This is a fantastic read! I love Virginia Woolf so was delighted to get my hands on this. Loved the essay. And the afterword was also a great accompaniment. A definite read for readers!

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The first thing I liked about this book was the title of the book. Being a reader from the from the deepest core of my heart, how could I ignore this book. Especially when it is Virginia Woolf who wrote this book.
How should One Read a Book is an essay in which Woolf talked about the correct way of reading a book, how could one reader connect to the writer just by reading the book. She explores the lives the of different author of Victorian London and reaches to the reader like no one esle did.
I really liked the book. It is a short read but a pretty amazing as well. Totally loved it.

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This short but absorbing essay written by the wonderful Virginia Woolf is a must for anyone who calls themselves a reader or who has ever picked up a book or made comment on one. Written originally to be given as a lecture at a girl's school in 1926 it is still powerful and relevant today. The writer does not give the reader advice but rather what she calls 'a few ideas and suggestions' which cause the reader to ask questions of themselves and how they read. The insightful introduction and afterword by Sheila Heti bring a different dimension to this book and I think it will prove itself to be a much sought after and debated book club book.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for the opportunity to read this.

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