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Stop What You're Doing and Read This!
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Stop What You're Doing and Read This!

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  507 Ratings  ·  79 Reviews
A mission statement about the transformative power of reading; about the way it inspires us, the tangible impact it can have on our wellbeing, the importance it holds for us now and will continue to hold in the future.

In any 24 hours there might be sleeping, eating, kids, parents, friends, lovers, work, school, travel, deadlines, emails, phone calls, Facebook, Twitter, the
...more
ebook, 190 pages
Published December 26th 2011 by Vintage Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,461)
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Susan
Apr 27, 2012 Susan rated it really liked it
This book contains ten essays by authors, publishers and other passionate advocates of reading, all giving reasons why reading is important - if not essential - in our lives. It talks about the thousands of children in our country who cannot read and write with competence and those who rarely read outside of the classroom. The parents who do not read to their children, the homes which do not have books. Assuming you are browsing books on goodreads suggests you are a reader, whether devoted or ca ...more
Heather Clitheroe
Jan 14, 2012 Heather Clitheroe rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2012-reads
Not bad - an interesting collection of essays on the art and act of reading, and on the necessity of literature. If it's meant to convince you that reading is essential, it's preaching to the choir: I don't know that many of the people who read this book would be inclined to disagree with the pronouncements.

I had to smile and shake my head at Carmen Callil's vehement disapproval of the ebook.

"Reading a book on a Kindle or an Ipad is all very well - in fact it is better than all very well, it i
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Chris
Aug 11, 2015 Chris rated it liked it
Recommended to Chris by: Kats
A book of 10 British authors and their essays on the experience and love of reading. Some of these were quite good (Zadie Smith, Mark Haddon, Jeanette Winterson), some were terribly scientific and boring.

Throughout the book, though, I found little nuggets that I could relate to, and realize there are others who feel the same way I do when I read. I would love to say that reading possessed some of the special powers it is often claimed to possess, not least the ability to soothe the troubled min
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Joanne
Apr 10, 2012 Joanne rated it really liked it
This is a book of essay extolling the virtues of reading. They are by writers, publishers and scientists writing about their personal experiences with books, of their beliefs about the benefits of reading, and of the scientific evidence about what the act of reading does to our brains. The introduction says that;

This year (2011) we learnt that there are many thousands of children across Britain who cannot read competently, that there are thousands who leave primary school unable to put together
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Clong
Mar 28, 2014 Clong rated it really liked it
Thought the last essay was very good at addressing e-reading and reading in the 21st century. Vs most of the other essays which simply eschewed electronic devices as reading's nemesis. Though all of the essays were well written and interesting in their own ways they had a beef. And it was the Kindle. Which is ironic because I read this bad boy on Kindle. Thus feeling a stab of guilt, as though I were cheating on books, or the literary community, throughout.
Loved all the brain science stuff. I
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غيداء
Mar 31, 2016 غيداء rated it really liked it
Updated review 31 March 2016:

Two different occasions you have to read this book on:
- If u r a reading-aholic feeling that no one understands how much u love reading!
- If u stopped reading for a while and u needed some enthusiasm to go back on track!

In sum, it is the best illustration of Bibliomania, people like us, explaining why we love reading & books, and how they make us alive!
Renée
Feb 02, 2014 Renée rated it really liked it
Fijn knus boekje, een tikje te lyrisch soms over het feest van het boek lezen, maar toch vooral een manier om in contact te komen met je oorspronkelijke motivatie om en het genot van boeken te lezen. Mocht je het ooit kwijtraken, lees dan dit boek.

Ik heb alle basic argumenten uit het boek gedestilleerd en op een rij gezet, in willekeurige volgorde. Misschien heeft iemand er ooit nog aan om het sluiten van een bibliotheek te voorkomen of iets:

Waarom boeken en bibliotheken?
* om op te kunnen sche
...more
Chris
May 16, 2012 Chris rated it it was ok
This book was a collection of essays about the importance of reading. Several of the essays focused on the ideas of reader-response theory, assuming that books are special because of the ways they engage each reader's individual imagination. One thoughtful essay speculated that we are on the verge of a paradigm shift as momentous as the historical shift from oral tradition to literacy in the transition to the digital age. Mostly, these essays felt like curiosities to me. I agree that reading is ...more
Celtria
Jan 01, 2015 Celtria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reading-books
Stop What You're Doing and Read This! I did, but not from a sense of duty or obedience. It was a time-out sunny afternoon. This is an expertly written (as would be expected from the authors contributing) collection of essays on the experience, love and importance of reading. I particularly enjoyed those by Zadie Smith, Blake Morrison, Tim Parks, Jeanette Winterson and Nicholas Carr (although I've never read anything else by these writers). There are some interesting tasters on the psychology/neu ...more
Julie Mestdagh
Aug 23, 2014 Julie Mestdagh rated it really liked it
“Stop what you’re doing and read this” is a collection of contributions by authors and people somehow related to the world of books in which they tell us about the experience of reading, why access to books should never be taken for granted, how reading transforms our brains and how literature can save lives.

Although I liked some contributions better than others (one or two were just too scientific and boring), I liked the idea of this book, loved reading it and found it interesting to see diff
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Sarah
Apr 29, 2014 Sarah rated it liked it
Even though I didn’t love this book, I think it’s unfair to give it a really bad review because I kinda knew that I wouldn't when I went in to it. It just wasn’t my cup of tea. I was hoping that I could use this book to branch out of my comfort zone but, sadly, it’s plopped me right back into it.

This book includes 10 essays from different authors. My favourite essays were that of Tim Parks (Mindful Reading) and Mark Haddon (The Right Words in the Right Order). The voices of these authors were my
...more
Kate Litman
Mar 15, 2014 Kate Litman rated it really liked it
It's always hard to form an opinion on a collection of essays all written by different authors. Were this a review solely of Mark Haddon's 'The Right Words in the Right Order', full of gorgeously eloquent descriptions that embody the unique experience of reading, I'd be tempted to give it five stars. Perhaps others, I would give only three or two.

The book presents itself as a 'manifesto' which aims 'to convince you to make reading part of your daily life'. This to me seems slightly counterintui
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Florencia Scarpatti
I liked it. Essays about reading. It tells me nothing I don t know about the importance of it but sometimes is nice to read perceptions from other people that thinks literature is a way of life.
One quote: This is what books - the best books - give us: a lifeline, a reason to believe, a way to breathe more freely".
Jennifer
Nov 28, 2015 Jennifer rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Some interesting (and one or two annoyingly snobby) essays about the importance and pleasure of reading. I find the aim of the collection a bit confusing though, as for me they were preaching to the choir, but surely the LAST thing someone who didn't like reading would pick up is a book of essays...
Graham Heslop
Dec 07, 2014 Graham Heslop rated it really liked it
Hard to rate this collection, since a few of the essays are exceptional while others weren't. On the whole, this is an important book probing the positive affects reading has on individuals and society. The papers also ruminate over what the loss of reading may mean to culture and the next generation. Some of the reviews of this collection are confused; this book is not about the pitfalls of e-readers and technology. The authors are lovers of literature, not print, and their intention is to rous ...more
Wendle
Very few of the essays in this book really stood out for me. Considering most of the authors are professional writers, i felt they did a pretty poor-to-average job of capturing the unique joy of reading we bookworms experience. Some of the essays focused on the author’s childhood and experience with books and reading as they grew up. A few included another focus, instead of the simply enjoyment reading brings, some chose to highlight how vital the ability is, how access to books is key. And thou ...more
Darci
Nov 17, 2015 Darci rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Book Fanatics
So many books, so little time" (Frank Zappa). I take every possible opportunity to read, and often get lost in these fictional worlds. The majority of the time I even find myself comforted by simply being around books- you can imagine what my bedroom must look like :). A question I have always found myself asking is: "Why books? Why is reading a fictional story written by someone, somewhere in the world, so enjoyable for me?" To seek an answer to my question, my obvious response was "I'll read a ...more
Rikke
Oct 04, 2014 Rikke rated it liked it
Recommended to Rikke by: Gitte Winneche
Is it ironic that I couldn't really stop what I was doing in order to read this?

This little essay collection does hold a few gems; lovely and accurate descriptions of how a book can impact a life – and how a life can impact a book. Zadie Smith's essay on libraries was beautiful (even though I had read it before in "The Library Book", Mark Haddon's description of his discovery of books was touching and Jane Davis' essay explaining The Reader Organisation was both important and enlightening.

Howev
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Bookguide
May 22, 2013 Bookguide rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Librarians, Teachers and people interested in promoting reading
Essays by leading authors and researchers and promoters of reading about the importance of reading and books. I would probably not have bought this if it hadn't been for the bookless state I was in, facing a two-hour train journey, and totally uninspired by the selection of books at the station bookshop. There seemed to be a choice between thrillers, romance and Dutch literature which I will probably borrow from the library or stumble across at a BookCrossing meeting. As a BookCrosser, when you' ...more
Danielle
I had to read this book for book club, and its a book that I wouldn't pick up and read myself.

Its a book of short stories, and when I looked at the contents and saw Mark Haddon and Michael Rosan I skipped all the other authors to read their oppinion of reading.

Also it take's me a while to get to like a new author sometimes I like their writing style and carry on reading it, or sometimes I dont like their writing style and just give up.

The interesting remark people was questioning at book club
...more
Michele
Aug 26, 2013 Michele rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Books made up of essays by different authors inevitably mean the reader will like some better than others. Each author gave a thoughtful and personalised view of why reading fiction is so important. For me the best essays were found towards the beginning and end of the book - Zadie Smith, Jane Davis, Jeanette Winterson (as always) and Nicholas Carr inspired me most but others will have different favourites. The essays look at reading from many different angles. The essays tackle the role of the ...more
Jennifer
Jun 10, 2013 Jennifer rated it liked it
A book of essays about books and reading. I was attracted by some of the contributing authors: Blake Morrison, Zadie Smith, Jeanette Winterson, Carmen Calill, Michael Rosen. I enjoyed the way there were subtle but sometimes important differences in what each had to say. There were some worthwhile things said about the difference between a physical book and an electronic device which went beyond the knee-jerk.

I was disappointed by Jeanette Winterson's silly, cruel and ignorant dismissal of Attent
...more
Amy Or
Dec 08, 2013 Amy Or rated it really liked it
Feeling sluggish about reading? this book will remind you the importance of being immersed in the wonderfulness of the imagined world.
With stories, essays from authors and related industries, Stop What You're Doing and Read This is a collection which spans from how one starts to read, how reading impacts his/her life to the science of reading.
I find it especially crucial to be reminded about how to read, to savor the choice of words, the pictures authors paint for readers, when modern technolo
...more
Lee Kofman
Jan 24, 2016 Lee Kofman rated it liked it
I wasn’t mad about this book, even though I couldn’t see how I wouldn’t really love an anthology that investigates our need to read. I found most essays quite tedious and repetitive, unfortunately, and yet there were quite a few insights to enjoy there too. I particularly loved how some authors, e.g. Blake Morrison, discussed the variety of reasons for reading - transcending reality, defying death, avoiding consequences and more.
Julie Thomason
May 15, 2014 Julie Thomason rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this little book, read it almost in one go while on a trip to London. the thoughts, reflections, and opinions on writing are thought provoking and all beautifully written. I popped it into my bag in case I had to wait but I was soon hooked, I was worried it was going to be preaching to the converted but I found it to be a positive and affirming read both as a reader and a writer.
Amr
Sep 03, 2014 Amr rated it it was ok
If you like reading you don't need a book about reading.
If you don't like reading, this book either won't touch you or you won't pick it up.

It is an easy reading with few articles about reading. We read because we like it regardless of the reading style each one have and effect of technology. Some stuff are better without analysis.

I liked the variety of ideas. Some of the writers had rich stories to tell.
Hafsa
Feb 24, 2014 Hafsa rated it it was amazing
I have been trying to get back into reading like I used to, and this was just the right book to kick in inspiration. The way it weaved in perspectives on reading/literature from various fields (from literary scholars to scientists and technologists) made it an interesting read all along. Being unable to find contemporary authors whose work I'd enjoy, this book is a good exposure to some of today's leading authors (mostly UK-based).
Wilde Sky
This book contains a number of essays about reading.

I found this book to be very dull except for p121/122 which contains the poem 'I Am' by John Clare which is excellent. In my opinion if you want to understand the power of words then you'd be better off reading a good book and / or some decent poetry (for example by John Clare).
Princess of Dragons
A nice collection of essay's about books and reading in the modern age. I love reading about how different people experience books, and the takes on what it brings to our culture. A very good read about reading :P
Ahmad Naeem
Jul 30, 2015 Ahmad Naeem rated it really liked it
One for the bibliophiles! Collection of real stories by writers expressing themselves of the art of reading. Brilliant read. A few of the chapters might be a bore off to some. But generally the book is a page turner.
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Carmen Thérèse Callil is a publisher, writer and critic. She founded Virago Press in 1973.
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“Reading is primarily a symptom. Of a healthy imagination, of our interest in this and other worlds, of our ability to be still and quiet, of our ability to dream during daylight.” 5 likes
“Life is simply too short for the wrong books, or even the right books at the wrong time.” 1 likes
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