BookBrowse Reviews How to Talk About Books You Haven't Read by Pierre Bayard

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How to Talk About Books You Haven't Read

By Pierre Bayard

How to Talk About Books You Haven't Read
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  • Hardcover: Oct 2007,
    208 pages.
    Paperback: Sep 2009,
    208 pages.

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Book Reviewed by:
Amy Reading

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A book for book lovers everywhere to enjoy, ponder, and argue about—and perhaps even read

By all rights, I shouldn’t have to read this book. After all, Pierre Bayard begins with an epigraph from Oscar Wilde: "I never read a book I must review; it prejudices you so." But I did read it, swiftly, ferociously, and with a pen in hand. Many times I underlined a sentence I admired, such as this one: "He who pokes his nose into a book is abandoning true cultivation, and perhaps even reading itself." But just as often, I underlined in fierce disagreement. This book isn’t, finally, about books, but about book conversation, and I had a particularly lively one with it.

Bayard takes the deliberately perverse stance that non-reading is an activity that should be defended and even taught. His argument begins by noting the conundrum which pinions the educated reader: on the one hand, our universities inculcate in us the value of exhaustively knowing a ...

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