How Should One Read a Book?


It seems I’ve turned my blog into a self-help channel … Here are some advices from Virginia Woolf:

How Should One Read a Book?

In the first place, I want to emphasise the note of interrogation at the end of my title. Even if I could answer the question for myself, the answer would apply only to me and not to you. The only advice, indeed, that one person can give another about reading is to take no advice, to follow your own instincts, to use your own reason, to come to your own conclusions.

If this is agreed between us, then I feel at liberty to put forward a few ideas and suggestions because you will not allow them to fetter that independence which is the most important quality that a reader can possess. After all, what laws can be laid down about books? 

—Virginia Woolf


I have finished and delivered my essay on Woolf, hopefully the text will be strong enough to take on a life of it’s own.

But I am still enjoying Woolf – tremendously! She will definitively be coming along to Thailand. In a more relaxed mode, I let her thoughts sieve in, fertilizing my tired brain, expanding my mind. I never knew a more funny, intelligent and inspirational voice than hers.

Just see for yourself:

Most commonly we come to books with blurred and divided minds, asking of fiction that it shall be true, of poetry that it shall be false, of biography that it shall be flattering, of history that it shall enforce our own prejudices. If we could banish all such preconceptions when we read, that would be an admirable beginning. 


4 Comments Add yours

  1. KM Huber says:

    Any chance of us reading your essay? Hope so. Isn’t it delightful that one can never get enough of Woolf for she is fresh with every reading. Enjoy your trip.

    1. Sigrun says:

      Oh, I really wish I could write proper texts in English, ever so often my society of 5 000 000 Norwegians seems a bit tiny; village-like …

      1. KM Huber says:

        And I wish, truly, my facility for learning a language other than English (British/American) was such that I could read/speak in other languages but it is not. Alas….

  2. Now, there’s an interesting thing to imagine: Virginia Woolf in Thailand. 🙂

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