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On Reading, Writing and Living with Books

(Found on The Shelves of The London Library #6)

3.46  ·  Rating details ·  142 ratings  ·  27 reviews
"This little body of thought, that lies before me in the shape of a book, has existed thousands of years, nor since the invention of the press can anything short of an universal convulsion of nature abolish it".

On Reading, Writing and Living with Books is part of 'Found on the Shelves', published with The London Library. The books in this series have been chosen to give a
Paperback, 96 pages
Published May 5th 2016 by Pushkin Press & The London Library
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3.46  · 
Rating details
 ·  142 ratings  ·  27 reviews

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Jenny (Reading Envy)
A quick read featuring various writers who were members of The London Library and their thoughts on books and writing. Virginia Woolf! Charles Dickens! EM Forster! Great stuff, pieces I hadn't seen, and I loved the Woolf in particular. I will be able to use some of this in my reading class that I teach, for reading reflections.

The publisher provided me a copy via Edelweiss. Thanks!
Eric Anderson
May 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Books are an important physical presence around anyone who feels reading is a major part of living. I can spend a lot of time just gazing at my shelves wondering what I should read or reread next or simply enjoying the company of my books. Of course, no book was created in isolation but produced by someone who was influenced by reading countless other books. The traditional hub for many great writers to discover books that inspire and inform them has been the library. This year The London Librar ...more
May 28, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Meh. This was okay. I thought from the title it would be far more interesting than it actually was. Highlights were Charles Dickens's letters, and of course Virginia Woolf's essay. Everything else fell a bit flat (George Eliot sure knew how to waffle on...)
Stan Skrabut
Feb 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writing, reading
A couple of weeks ago, I received a wonderful gift in the mail. Susan Henking, who I have now known for 20 years, sent me the book, On Reading, Writing and Living with Books (The London Library) . It was a wonderful book to read as I started this year’s reading list. It provided me with an opportunity to kick back and reflect on my reading and writing. Read more
Matt Heavner
Aug 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun and funny. Good for bibliophiles. Another good addition to this series of pieces from the past
Dec 26, 2017 rated it liked it
A nicely-produced little collection of essays and letters by Woolf, George Eliot,Leigh Hunt, Dickens and E.M.Forster. They are jointly published by Pushkin Press and the London Library, and Forster's essay is a mini-history and in praise of the London Library. They are discursive, celebratory rather than analytical, but George Eliot's short essay on authorship stands out as being the work of a serious intellect, carefully argued, and unashamedly elitist. 'It is for art to present images of a lov ...more
Stacey (bookishpursuit)
Apr 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Jul 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
This was quite a find and a real delight to read. Some of English Literature's most popular authors share with us their thoughts on books, writing and reading. Virginia Woolf's essay on "How Should One Read a Book?" is inspired and still relevant today. She writes, "the only advice that one person can give another about reading is to take no advice, to follow your instincts, use your own reason and come to your own conclusions." I love this as that's how I feel about reading too. Charles Dickens ...more
Dec 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very famous author who wrote about books, fictions, being author and so on. A very interesting reading and some things I didn't know, like Dickens being friend with Collins for example. The best present for a bookworm.

Autori famosi che scrivono di libri, di storie e dell'essere autori, etc. Lettura interessante che mi ha permesso anche di scoprire, per esempio, che Dickens e Collins erano amici. Il regalo migliore per un bibliofilo.

Apr 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Slim little treasure, a collection of letters and essays on reading and writing. The highlight is Dickens letter to Eliot, where Dickens solidly demonstrates he is as fine a reader and critic as he is a writer.
Jun 18, 2017 rated it liked it
This is collection of established english novelist, poet etc on issue with London library & books. But i was my interested click after read a few line by Virginia Woolf, and that is very credible article written, i only heard of her name, yet to read any of her writing. i must say i love what i read, fair, clarity, smart but not too deep to dive in. and this book actually make me want to find out more about her writing. the rest of the contributor , i cannot say much, charles dicken did not ...more
Terry Clague
Jun 02, 2017 rated it did not like it
It's saying something when it takes a few attempts for a publisher (for it was me) to read a very short book about books but here we are. The series is certainly a nice idea - to celebrate its anniversary, The London Library selected material from their collection "not seen for decades or longer." On reading this volume, one is tempted to wonder if there were a good reason for the lack of usage given the inclusion of content that ranges from self-indulgent to apparent filler knocked out by a big ...more
Carmen Harris
While I am usually gung-ho about all books about books, as my passion for books and their importance will never dim, this book was mixed at best for its essay collection, only two even really eliciting a response worth remembering: Virginia Woolf's essay and E.M. Forster's. Most others were okay or forgettable (some almost droning on without real purpose or for forwarding any true point.) This book was a fast, but mildly-interesting read and one which I will never pick up again, which is depress ...more
May 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
Disappointing. Small collection of pieces by authors expressing their love of libraries and writing. Best to me were the two letters fromDickens to fellow authors. He wrote to George Elliot, expressing his amazement at his ability to capture the feelings of women. No one knew that George was a woman. Other bits pretty dull.
Aug 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
"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..." - Virginia Woolf
Sep 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
I was born to late to be forced to read Virginia Woolf and George Eliot. Their essays here were a pleasure. Next assignment. Looking them up at my local library.
Sep 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This essay collection was just pure magic. Absolutely adored it!
Simona Dreca
Feb 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: edelweiss, ebook
Thanks to Edelweiss for preview.

Those who love books often like to talk about books with other people, or read of others who share the same mania.
This book not only allows us to share our thoughts about books and the pleasure of reading, but also allows us to know the thoughts of some great writers about books.
Among all the writings contained in this volume, Virginia Woolf's one - with her analysis of the capabilities that we utilize for reading, an art that holds together perception and imagina
Sep 08, 2016 rated it liked it
I appreciate this book for what it is, a short little look into the fact of literature by some of the worlds most popular authors.

I especially loved the opening piece by Virginia Woolf, and the letter by Charles Dickens. The rest of the inclusions, unfortunately, didn't particularly strike me as anything exceptional.

None the less I still consider my money well spent. It's theories are quite interesting.

3 out of 5 stars.
Kirsty Stanley
Apr 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
A selection of writing on reading/writing/books from famous members of The London Library. See my activity for brief reviews of individual essays - some were more meaningful than others. Standout was Virginia Woolf on How Should One Read a Book?
Sep 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
For such a short book this took me longer than I expected to read. The topic was fascinating but the text was dense, with lots of word not commonly used these days and the odd passage in Latin. To read and completely understand it I had to slow down.
I`m not quite sure what I`m trying to find in books like this (i.e. books about books). In any case I didn`t discover it here. The only really enjoyable part for me was E.M. Forster`s "The London Library". ...more
M. Sarki
Jan 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Charming little book and so well-written.
Feb 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
A book for a starving anglophile
May 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, essays
A lovely collection of essays and letters focused on the topics of reading and writing books. My favourites were the letters penned by Charles Dickens, they were fascinating and wonderful to read.
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(Adeline) Virginia Woolf was an English novelist and essayist regarded as one of the foremost modernist literary figures of the twentieth century.

During the interwar period, Woolf was a significant figure in London literary society and a member of the Bloomsbury Group. Her most famous works include the novels Mrs. Dalloway (1925), To the Lighthouse (1927), and Orlando (1928), and the book-length e

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