How Reading Changed My Life

How Reading Changed My Life A recurring theme throughout Anna Quindlen s How Reading Changed My Life is the comforting premise that readers are never alone There was waking and there was sleeping And then there were books she

  • Title: How Reading Changed My Life
  • Author: Anna Quindlen
  • ISBN: 9780345422781
  • Page: 140
  • Format: Paperback
  • A recurring theme throughout Anna Quindlen s How Reading Changed My Life is the comforting premise that readers are never alone There was waking, and there was sleeping And then there were books, she writes, a kind of parallel universe in which anything might happen and frequently did, a universe in which I might be a newcomer but never really a stranger My real, truA recurring theme throughout Anna Quindlen s How Reading Changed My Life is the comforting premise that readers are never alone There was waking, and there was sleeping And then there were books, she writes, a kind of parallel universe in which anything might happen and frequently did, a universe in which I might be a newcomer but never really a stranger My real, true world Later, she quotes editor Hazel Rochman Reading makes immigrants of us all It takes us away from home, but, most important, it finds homes for us everywhere Indeed, Quindlen s essays are full of the names of friends, real or fictional Anne of Green Gables and Heidi Anthony Trollope and Jane Austen, to name just a few who have comforted, inspired, educated, and delighted her throughout her life In four short essays Quindlen shares her thoughts on the act of reading itself It is like the rubbing of two sticks together to make a fire, the act of reading, an improbable pedestrian task that leads to heat and light analyzes the difference between how men and women read there are very few books in which male characters, much less boys, are portrayed as devoted readers and cheerfully defends middlebrow literature Most of those so called middlebrow readers would have readily admitted that the Iliad set a standard that could not be matched by What Makes Sammy Run or Exodus But any reader with common sense would also understand intuitively, immediately, that such comparisons are false, that the uses of reading are vast and variegated and that some of them are not addressed by Homer.The Canon, censorship, and the future of publishing, not to mention that of reading itself, are all subjects Quindlen addresses with intelligence and optimism in a book that may not change your life, but will no doubt remind you of other books that did Alix Wilber less

    139 Comment

    • Brina says:

      Anna Quindlen is a veteran novelist and New York Times columnist who has won the Pulitzer Prize for her journalism. In this short book of essays that packs a punch, she takes us down her memory lane to tell us why she reads, citing her favorite books along the way. For this lovely reflection on the reading and writing life, I rate How Reading Changed My Life 4 stars. People have been reading for various reasons since the first printed word appeared on cuneiform thousands of years ago. Books have [...]

    • Diane says:

      I have a fondness for books about books. I love it when writers and fellow bibliophiles wax nostalgic about their favorite reading experiences. Reading is a way of exploring the world without leaving your living room, and reading about other readers reminds me that I am not alone in my love of curling up with a good book.This is a thoughtful collection of essays by Anna Quindlen on various topics about books and reading. It is a slim book, only 70 pages of prose and then a few lists of favorite [...]

    • Rowena says:

      I enjoyed this book for the most part. It's quite biographical, as the title implies, but it also has a lot of information about the history of books, reading etc. Great quotes about reading by famous writers are also included.I could definitely relate to many of Quindlen's experiences as a reader. For example, the hostility and suspicion that some look upon readers.I did find that she made some assumptions though. For example, not all children who were readers were solitary and preferred their [...]

    • Carol says:

      If you have been a book lover since you were a child, this book is for you! I felt as though Quindlen was speaking directly to me, and expressing my same thoughts about reading. She talks of changes as she grew up (50s/60s) with books like Friedan's The Feminine Mystique and how today things are changing with technology. She writes "It's 30 years since man first walked on the moon, and when people sit down to a big old fashioned supper it is still a plate of roast beef and mashed potatoes, not a [...]

    • Barbara says:

      This very short book praises the act of reading. Quindlen who was educated in Catholic parochial schools (as I was for 6 of my K-12 education) described an educational experience that was very familiar. My family also had a set of encyclopedias, and Reader's Digest condensed books. We got the daily newspaper, the weekly Catholic Transcript newspaper, and Reader's Digest. But form a young age, I had a library card. Libraries were essential. Books were expensive and Quindlen discusses the fact tha [...]

    • Kelly says:

      The part of this book that I liked talked about what it means to be a lover of books. Her voracious reading of books as a girl mirrors my childhood as an avid reader. I would brush my teeth reading a book! I would hide under the covers with a flashlight reading books so my dad wouldn't know I was still awake! I liked that she challenged the perception "non-lovers of books" have about book lovers being lazy because they read so much. She also reinforces my belief that we don't always have to read [...]

    • Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder* says:

      3.5 stars“Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home.” I've been in such a mood to read books about books and love of reading. This short book has an author who always loved reading - the first part of the book was the best. After that it became a little flawed, but overall there are points in each chapter worth noting.So far I'm in love with this author's writing style! It's interesting how she opens the book with not only her [...]

    • Kevin says:

      I love to read books about books. When surrounded by many who have no desire to read I sometimes find myself losing some faith in humanity's future. I truly do not understand the lack of desire. I can't imagine going anywhere without a book and guess what, because of that I'm NEVER bored. By the way, why is it socially unacceptable to read a book instead of stare at your phone?At a young age I was taken by my father to our local library. He truly read everything. He would pick out a large stack [...]

    • Julie Suzanne says:

      Before sending this to an interested fellow bookcrosser, I flipped through the pages as a way of saying goodbye. I ended up reading the whole book again! Initially, this book was required reading for a college seminar course about "how we read." It was the best course of my life for many reasons, but this book was one of probably 20 books I was reading in a 3-month period. So I'm sure I got more out of it this second time.It's wonderful! Inspiring! Quindlen is an outstanding writer who makes any [...]

    • Victoria Evangelina Belyavskaya says:

      ~TIME OUT OF TIME~I love being on planes, love being in airports; sometimes I truly feel that I like journey more than the destination: it is a time out of time, a moment in life to fully relax and take all the responsibility off my shoulders, and, as Anna Quindlen helped me to fully realize, a time to read:"This is what I like about traveling: the time on airplanes spent reading, solitary, happy. It turns out that when my younger self thought of taking wing, she wanted only to let her spirit so [...]

    • Beth Bonini says:

      I was first assigned this book as part of a Young Adult literature class I was taking for my Master's degree in reading education. I have a real soft spot for books about books and personal essays about the all-absorbing pleasure of reading. I could identify with Anna Quindlen: not only had we read and loved so many of the same books, and been formed by them, but at some fundamental level we are both people who would rather be reading than doing almost anything else. I suspect that 98% of the wo [...]

    • Carol Storm says:

      The thing that jumps out at you when you leaf through this bland, inoffensive, feature article sized little booklet is not so much that Anna Quindlen loves books, but that she has an infallible instinct for the second rate. To Kill A Mockingbird, not Huckleberry Finn. The Catcher In The Rye, not A Portrait of the Artist As A Young Man. A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, not Call It Sleep. A Christmas Carol, not Moby Dick. This more than a matter of laziness or bad taste. Anna Quindlen is instinctively dr [...]

    • Megan says:

      Anna Quindlen has written an amazing little book for book-lovers everywhere. She touches on subjects many of us bibliphiles are familiar with--our beloved books from childhood and how our opinions of them change, the need for a physical book in your hand (as opposed to an e-reader), and the stereotype that we as voracious readers are loners, weird, or lazy. Even if you don't love to read, I can only imagine that this book would encourage you to and change your mind. I felt the book was the perfe [...]

    • Suzan says:

      I love Anna Quindlen's thoughts on reading, and I love knowing that there are others out there who feel the same way I do about books and reading. Some favorite quotes: " never seemed to me like a book, but like a place I had lived in, had visited and would visit again, just as all the people in them, every blessed one-Anne of Green Gables, Heidi, Jay Gatsby, Elizabeth Bennet, Scarlet O'Hara, Dill and Scout, Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot-were more real than the real people I knew." "In books I [...]

    • Lisa says:

      I enjoyed Quindlen's reminiscences about growing up with books. As she recalled a neighbors basement filled with books that she borrowed and read; I too could remember a relatives home filled with books. I recalled the feeling I had when I pulled books from those shelves and how the books felt in my hands and the musty smell of them.Like Quindlen I have had a love affair with books all my life. Reading this book is like remembering an old lover. I got a warm, fuzzy feeling thinking about the pla [...]

    • Laura Stenzel says:

      A lovely retrospective for all of us who had to be forced to "put down that stupid book".

    • Amy says:

      Yum. What reader isn't gonna give it 5 stars?

    • Astrid says:

      "Perhaps it is true that at a base we readers are dissatisfied people , yearning to be elsewhere to live vicariously through words in a way we cannot live directly through life. Perhaps we are the world's great nomads , if only in our minds"everyone in could absolutely relate to her in this book. a magnificent amount of love toward reading. that's why I could enjoy this book. Unfortunately , she mentioned too much about that book , this book , without particularly explain why the books left her [...]

    • Jacqueline says:

      I really just always enjoy books about books. This one was rife with relatable experiences and recommendations I couldn't add to my amazon cart fast enough. My only beef with it is what I felt was her underlying assumption that across the board, the life of a woman (especially in a traditional role) is an unfulfilling one that must be escaped from. It was kind of a recurring theme in the book. I stay home with my children, and I don't read because I'm repressed -- I read because it feeds my soul [...]

    • Amy says:

      Interesting book. Anna Quindlen describes her enjoyment of reading through her life. She includes references to many books and some anecdotes about her family, other authors, and reading in general.At one point she discusses gender differences about reading. She either makes or discusses a generalization that women enjoy more fiction and men enjoy information. I'm not fond of statements like this without reference to relevant research. And even properly supported, I'm not sure what if anything t [...]

    • Norma Christensen says:

      I have read ever since I can remember. I searched through school libraries, musty old shelves containing hidden gems. We read this little book for book club and although we all know why we read, this was a gentle reminder of how much we love to read. I have not always read the best material as my daughter is quick to point out, but I have read all of the standard works of scripture. I spent many years reading nothing except religious materials, and teaching Sunday school. I am more selective in [...]

    • Santhi says:

      Her reverence for reading was highly threatened by the rambling prose The last chapter and the following book lists redeemed this (digital) book in my eyes. Picking up the book from the library just to have the book lists for reference (and add to my TBR ;))

    • Marjorie says:

      Now I know why Anna Quindlen is my mom's "soul sister" ; )

    • Faiza Sattar says:

      ★★★★☆ (4/5)A selections of favourite passages from the book • Perhaps only a truly discontented child can become as seduced by books as I was. Perhaps restlessness is a necessary corollary of devoted literacy  • “Reading makes immigrants of us all,” she wrote years later. “It takes us away from home, but, most important, it finds homes for us everywhere.”  • Reading has always been my home, my sustenance, my great invincible companion • While we pay lip service to the [...]

    • Sharon Metcalf says:

      Well, that was a quick read (referred to as an extended essay in the Acknowledgements). Interesting certainly but it wasn't the reading experience I expected. A couple of times Anna Quindlen made it personal as she wrote about how certain books had made her feel, emotions evoked, but on the whole it felt more like a history of books. I found it interesting to note how times have changed in the almost two decades since she wrote this in 1998. Sure we booklovers often prefer the tradional book but [...]

    • Shari Wiemer says:

      This was a quick read meant to preach to the choir, rather than to suggest ways to inspire a love of reading, as I'd hoped it would be. There were dozens of references to the books that she's read, which could be taken as reading suggestions, or something more akin to namedropping at a cocktail party. I leaned towards the latter.

    • Liz says:

      I really liked this but wanted more! At this point it's also a little outdated with regard to e-books, but I loved it nonetheless.

    • Sandra says:

      A veces solo basta con una confesión honesta de por qué los libros son tan importantes, sin más pretensiones. Además, tiene listas y las recomendaciones son un vicio para mí.

    • Lauren Hancock says:

      Loved this. I love to write and I love to read, and to write about writing or read about reading kind of feels like having a root beer float for lunch. I want to be in Anna Quindlen’s book club. As a side note, I have read so much of what Anna Quindlen has written and connected with it so profoundly and at so many different points in my life that it feels utterly absurd to me that she actually has no idea who I am.

    • Roxanna says:

      Another intimate conversation with Anna Quindlen about the constant romance of being a reader. She shares the trajectory of her life as a reader, from the moments that inspired and solidified her love of reading, to the moments with books that taught her more about life than the people around her. What I appreciate was that the short 80 something page book was interlaced with her personal anecdotes but not focused on them. There was no pretentious recounting of how a writer came to be through he [...]

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