Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
How to Read and Why Paperback – October 2, 2001
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Information is endlessly available to us; where shall wisdom be found?" is the crucial question with which renowned literary critic Harold Bloom begins this impassioned book on the pleasures and benefits of reading well. For more than forty years, Bloom has transformed college students into lifelong readers with his unrivaled love for literature. Now, at a time when faster and easier electronic media threatens to eclipse the practice of reading, Bloom draws on his experience as critic, teacher, and prolific reader to plumb the great books for their sustaining wisdom.
Shedding all polemic, Bloom addresses the solitary reader, who, he urges, should read for the purest of all reasons: to discover and augment the self. His ultimate faith in the restorative power of literature resonates on every page of this infinitely rewarding and important book.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
This is what I gleaned from reading Harold Bloom’s “How to Read and Why.” Years ago I bought the book hoping to learn how to read, and truly appreciate poetry, but also to gain insight into the very best storytelling in literature. Ironically, I got stumped in the section entitled: “Poems.” So, I put the book aside, and only resumed reading it when I couldn’t stand to read anything else. And it has turned out to be a kind of salvation.
Now I feel as if Bloom’s intellectual breadth and detailed knowledge of literature can all but raise the dead. At the very least it can warm the coldest spirit and soften the hardest heart. Bloom’s descriptions of the complex savagery and comedic genius of the most unforgettable characters in world literature serve to redeem us. His account of Ibsen’s “Hedda Gabler” and Lady Bracknell in Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest” shock us with lightning revelations as to the true nature of human existence, its cruel ironies, its wicked Norwegian trolls, and “high” society’s meaningless, insincere nonsense.
Along the way, Bloom’s intellectual breadth and knowledge of what he calls “The Western Canon,” and its theological functions, can take any susceptible reader to a new level of awareness, both of self and the cosmos. His notion of Shakespeare’s “invention of the human” becomes as palpable as flesh and blood in his explorations of Hamlet, which are as deep and dark as the concept of enigma itself.
There are also countless suggestions as to why we should read sprinkled throughout the book at the opportune moments, such as when Bloom has provided a poignant example, or made some very demonstrative point. I have come away from this book convinced that no other medium can transmit such vital information as poetry, drama, the short story, or the novel. These are the real “Reality TV” that we need to be watching – quietly, in the refuge of our study, and in the sanctity of our own soul.