Chazzle's Reviews > The Solitary Vice: Against Reading

The Solitary Vice by Mikita Brottman
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's review
Jul 09, 2008

liked it
Recommended to Chazzle by: no one
Recommended for: people who enjoy books about books
Read in July, 2008

For me, this book was up and down. I almost gave it four stars, but there were a couple of chapters I refused to finish, so I had to hold it to 3 stars.

Like Bill Maher and Robert Kiyosaki, the author Mikita Brottman spurns conventional wisdom. Here, the topic is reading. She debates against the generally unchallenged notion that reading is healthy, that reading is fundamental. She also challenges the truism that canonical literature makes for the best reading.

Is she right? Or, at least, do I agree? Well, sometimes. I definitely agree with her "follow your bliss" advice (ala Joseph Campbell); from page 78 (in the most entertaining chapter of the book: "There are no books you 'ought' to read. Take my advice - if it bores you, if you don't get it, if it puts you to sleep or gives you a headache, put it down and read something else instead. Even this book...honestly, I won't mind." Amen, sister, sez me!

Another insight came for me later on in the chapter where she recommends reading true crime books; I've never explored this genre. Some of my very favorite books in the past have been by Dominick Dunne, dealing with fictionalized true crime. There's a very good chance that Brottman's nudge will open up a new genre for me.

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