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The Art of Reading

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About the Author

Damon Young is a prizewinning philosopher and writer. He is the author of seven books, including How to Think About Exercise, Philosophy in the Garden, and Distraction. His works are published internationally in English and translation, and he has also written poetry and short fiction. Young is an Honorary Fellow at the University of Melbourne.


`Young offers a useful, erudite, and often arresting survey of philosophical thought featuring both renowned figures in the discipline (Plato, Nietzsche, Wittgenstein, Heidegger, Schopenhauer) and those less well known, as well as penetrating takes on novelists Virginia Woolf, Jorge Luis Borges, Henry James, and others ... While Young's latest may be the essence of bookish preoccupation, it is a worthy challenge to read bravely, to regard deeply, and to weigh ideas with discernment and generosity.' * Kirkus * `The Art of Reading is not just another bibliomemoir; it is also a manifesto of sorts ... [Young's] ambitious goal is to re-enchant an activity which, "cosmically speaking", is very much "against the odds".' * The Irish Times * 'This literary study is serious but also witty and fun-a tough balance to strike, but Young nails it.' * Publishers Weekly * `Bibliophiles will relish Damon Young's The Art of Reading, a hypnotic, erudite and riveting analysis of why we lose and find ourselves in the pages of books ... A rare joy, a company of pages to cherish for a long time.' * Bookanista * `A beautifully written and thoughtfully constructed ode to the inner worlds opened up by the page, and the role of reading in the discovery and development of the self. The Art of Reading is just what I needed to remind me I am neither alone - nor irrational - in my bibliophilia.` -- Tara Moss 'Reading about reading feels like it should be confusing, but Damon Young makes it both intriguing and insightful.' -- Dean Burnett, author of The Idiot Brain `Damon Young's purpose in this elegant volume is to demonstrate just what an extraordinary thing it is to be a reader - and how much power we have to be even better at it ... [his] approach is omnivorous and inspiring.' -- Sarah Ditum * In the Moment * `Damon Young's The Art of Reading is a brilliant, wide-ranging exploration of the nature and value of reading, a serious philosopher's serious game with literature. Witty and graceful it does what it sets out to do, to turn black text into an illuminated theatre of mind, heart and consciousness as it passes through the teasing virtues and vices of its main headings. By taking a few key texts and introducing them to each other Young expands into the vast universe of his and our remembered and potential reading.' -- George Szirtes `An erudite and engaging enquiry into the transformative power of reading.' -- Melissa Harrison, author of Rain `Damon Young has written a neat little book ... One of the key aims of The Art of Reading is to sharpen our interest in reading, and to train us to read more intelligently.' * The Mail on Sunday * `Attempts something like an ethical guide to literary life.' * TLS * `[S]ometimes even I find myself in a bit of a slump and forget how wonderful it is that type on a page can conjure up vivid worlds. In The Art of Reading, Young shows us how to cultivate our inner critic and read better, while celebrating reading and readers.' -- Sarah Shaffi * Stylist * 'For Damon Young, writers are like secret agents gone rogue, grabbing us by the lapels and inviting us into a realm of delicious ambiguity. The Art of Reading is an intimately conspiratorial book - erudite, surprising, and persuasive.' -- Henry Hitchings, author of Browse: the world in bookshops

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