Books Promiscuously Read: Reading as a Way of Life

Farrar. Jul. 2021. 176p. ISBN 9780374115265. $25. LIT
In this work, poetry editor White proposes that reading should be viewed as an experience and should be enjoyed as such. The book is divided into five parts: “Propositions,” “Play,” “Transgression,” “Insight,” and “Conclusions.” “Propositions” is composed of 22 ideas about reading, taken from widely published works and writers. It flows almost like poetry and draws the reader into the experience of reading, and at the same time informs a perspective of reading. “Play,” “Transgression,” and “Insight” switch to a more traditional prose format, but still draw heavily on other authors’ notions of reading, and use examples from literature to remind us that reading is an experience that shapes perspectives and ideas. In these sections, White cites literary techniques and the consequences of the act of reading, as examples of how books can make us view and experience reading as play, transgression, and insight, and lead to personal growth. She masterfully weaves these techniques and ideas through her own work, making this book as enjoyable as it is informative.
VERDICT This book is a good reminder that reading is meant to be enjoyed; it is itself a refreshing, freeing, and inspiring read. Recommended for public libraries.
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