A person can enrich himself with good qualities and a commendable culture if he comes across books that have a message to convey. Good books sow the seeds of curiosity in man and he wishes to read more and more. He cannot acquire the desired knowledge by reading a single book. He must, therefore, read a number of them depending on his speed. Books also give pleasure to us.
Apart from giving knowledge, they provide us with lasting pleasure. They mould our ideas, outlook and character and are like good and reliable friends. Man can never feel lonely if he has the company of good book. All of this took place quite apart from school. At school I was practical, and saw myself as someone who would eventually have a serious job of some kind.
The drawback to this was that there were only five careers listed for women in the Guidance textbook: home economist, nurse, teacher, airline stewardess, and secretary. Home economists got paid the most, but I was not good at zippers. This was depressing. I read more. In English, we were studying a Shakespeare play a year, a good deal of Thomas Hardy and some George Eliot, and a lot of poetry, most of it by the romantics and the Victorians.
Writing — unlike reading — appeared to be something that had been done some time ago, and very far away. What do I enjoy reading today? Or I add to the piles, or growl over them, protecting them from being tidied up, or haul something off to another location. I read in bed — what a luxury! Do collected works count? Does the Bible? Does The Joy of Cooking? Sign in. Get started. The Pleasure of Reading. In this essay Margaret Atwood describes her years of growing up reading books.
We also get a glimpse of her favourites.
I want to tell you a story
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Return to Book Page. Jeanette Winterson. Judith Kerr. Catherine Cookson. Stephen Spender. Simon Gray. Edna O'Brien.
In this work 40 leading writers explain what first made them interested in reading. They describe the comics and childhood classics that first inspired them to read, and what today continues to do so. Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. More Details Original Title. Other Editions 5. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Pleasure of Reading , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about The Pleasure of Reading. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews.
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It was the rich vein of ego-wanking pseuditude of so many contributors that put me off, really. Many authors seem desperately keen to tell you which authors they kept away from - Beatrix Potter and Enid Blyton, usually - so that you can admire the taste and discretion they showed even as infants.
Some they want to tell you that they were reduced to reading under the covers with a torch or candle, allegedly or while t It was the rich vein of ego-wanking pseuditude of so many contributors that put me off, really. Some they want to tell you that they were reduced to reading under the covers with a torch or candle, allegedly or while they were doing the hoovering because their Philistine, suburban parents having sadly failed to recognise their genius, had encumbered them with tiresome chores.
There are some more interesting sections in between the unresolved family issues and smuggery. Tom Stoppard admits he wished he could see the others before he wrote his, and is the only one that acknowledges the inherent one-upmanship in the exercise. This was originally published a few years ago as a Fundraiser for the Give a Book charity and was reissued last year in an updated more women, some black people version.
I prefer reading about the lives of long-dead authors, really, so I am not really its target audience.
View 2 comments. I am always interested in the books other people read so this book was fascinating to me. There are some themes which emerge very clearly from it. A love of reading develops very early for a lot of people - especially authors. Many read because they like being lost in someone else's world and as an escape from their own lives.
I was surprised by how many people - both male and female - read Richmal Crompton's William stories. I too read and enjoyed them - much more in general than sto I am always interested in the books other people read so this book was fascinating to me. I too read and enjoyed them - much more in general than stories about girls.
I was surprised that no one mentioned my own two favourites in the girls' school story genre - Elise J Oxenham and Elionor M Brent-Dyer. The essays are by authors both old and young and yet many of them read the same books as children. Many authors cited books by Dickens as well as Proust and Jane Austen. I found this a reassuring book to read as it made me realise that there are other people who know they HAVE to read.
It is an addiction and several mentioned being addicted to books and never going anywhere without a book to read. I am the same and always have been and many people in my life have regarded that as strange and as though it is an avoidance of real life. I don't agree and neither do the authors writing in this book.
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Books reassure you that you aren't alone in what you are feeling and experiencing and they can give you respite from trying times as well as extra pleasure during the good ones. View all 6 comments. I love books about books, especially about people's love for books. However, this collection lacked diversity.