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Il piacere della lettura

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  1,361 ratings  ·  137 reviews
Nel 1906 esce in Francia la traduzione proustiana di "Sesame and Lilies" [Sesamo e gigli] di John Ruskin, accompagnata da una prefazione – "Sur la lecture" [Sulla lettura] – nella quale Proust, prendendo le distanze dalle teorie del critico inglese, in una sapiente alternanza di parti narrative e parti saggistiche, rende presente la sua idea di lettura, offrendoci un primo ...more
Kindle Edition, 67 pages
Published May 26th 2016 by Feltrinelli (first published June 15th 1905)
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Average rating 3.73  · 
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 ·  1,361 ratings  ·  137 reviews

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Luís C.
I will not dwell on the subject of the book, I think you all know it, reading, books, the joy of reading when you are a child and beyond.
Proust tells us about these books that make us want to spend the evening with them, the little creaking that constitutes the "interrupted chapter" because "We would have wanted the book to continue".

The role of reading "a conversation with the most honest people of past centuries" said Ruskin, to which Proust answers:
"Reading can not be assimilated to
Michael Finocchiaro
This short book of essays is a look inside Proust's mind in how he looked at literature and how he consumed it and recycled what he read in his chef d'oeuvre, La Recherche. Not an essential read but nonetheless, a very insightful one.
Susan Budd
Jan 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Had I but world enough and time,
À la recherche du temps perdu were no crime.
I would sit down, and think which way
To read, and pass my long book’s day.

But at my back I always hear
Time’s wingèd chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before me lie
TBR piles of vast eternity.

Now therefore, while the (cough) youthful hue
Sits on my skin like morning dew,
And while thy seven-volume tale transpires
On every page with literary fires,

Let your editor roll all your genius and all
Your sweetness up into one ball.
Nov 05, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009, proustophilia
Since this book has yet to be reviewed on this site, I feel compelled to say something, but I also feel more comfortable making this a dry description rather than utilizing my usual erratic and not-so-informative approach. Days of Reading is a collection of five essays, one of which is heavily abridged from a longer work (“Against Sainte-Beuve”). These five essays cover four topics. We have criticism of Ruskin’s art and architecture criticism; two philosophical essays on the pleasures, ...more
This tiny book isn't quite what the cover and most readers make it out to be. It's not a beautiful, lyrical eulogy to reading (although the first 10 or so pages are very beautiful and remind one of the beginning of Swann's Way), it's a passionate refutation of the idea that reading classics by itself is the best way to educate yourself - which Ruskin supported in Sesame and Lilies (among many other equally foolish and hideously chauvinistic ideas). I suspect that the book is a bit confusing to ...more
Ben Loory
Aug 19, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
yeah, i don't know... proust. his sentences are so long and flowing and beautiful, i fall asleep every three or four paragraphs. but every now and then i wake up and take notice and he's saying something really cool. of course, it mostly has to do with ruskin or sainte-beuve or somebody else i haven't read, so mostly i just feel dumb and resentful. but then, at the very end, there's this:

Style is not at all an embellishment as certain people think, it is not even a matter of technique, it is--
Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“The configuration of something is not simply the image of its nature, it is the clue to its destiny and the transcript of its history.”
“The power of genius is to make us love a beauty we feel to be more real than ourselves, in those things which in the eyes of others are as particular and as perishable as ourselves.”
“But if we are unable to relight the fires of the past, we would like at least to gather up their ashes.”


This book is a part of Penguin's series, Great Ideas, which collects
Laala Kashef Alghata
I left too large a gap between when I finished this book and writing this review, so forgive me, it’s going to be vague.

The book was split into two parts, the first half was on John Ruskin, and the second was on reading.

The minute I turned the page and saw that the first essay was on Ruskin and was really glad I had just finished On Art and Life and had some sort of understanding of what Ruskin was like as a writer and art critic. I loved him. So I was glad someone with Proust’s genius was
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"There are perhaps no days of our childhood that we lived as fully as the days we think we left behind without living at all:the days we spent with a favourite book."
Jun 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recently I've discovered another joy/time-waster in Google land.

No, it's definitely not that story specifically that's the draw. It's the spying factor, scoping out the rotten apples. By gum, there is more than I imagined. Well, I was already on to what this guy was gutsy enough to actually write on a blog.

What great pleasure I derive from now being able to catch the english language pilferers before I get garroted,
It has its five star moments: beautiful, quotable thoughts about books. Fresh thoughts. Thoughts that made me think.

"For the author they may be called 'Conclusions,' but for the reader, 'Provocations.'"

I am also struck by the thought that, with reading, unlike face-to-face interaction, we allow ourselves to respond completely naturally, allowing our minds to figure out its deepest, truest truths of our individual souls--we are not concerned whatsoever with another's impression of us. So we're
Oct 31, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Proust is deep and thought-provoking... rarely seems to use paragraphs... but there is good content here. The first essay "John Ruskin" is about a critic that I had not heard of before this encounter. Using him as an example, Proust points out some of the trouble with criticism where the critic can tend to blend the painting as object with the painting as beauty. This theme is somewhat similar to the central essay of the book "Days of Reading" where Proust spends several pages talking about ...more
Thing Two
A very short (for Proust) essay on why we read, why it is important to read, and why those of us who read find it really annoying when those of you who AREN'T reading interrupt us when we ARE reading. It was worth reading just to find that passage, for me.
Chris Linehan
Sep 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have not read Proust since my first try at college (roughly twenty years ago). I remember being overwhelmed by him. Part of that is the time constraints of a college semester. That meant we had two weeks to read In Search of Lost Time in a span of about two and a half weeks. Proust had, as indicated in Days of Reading, a much larger love of reading than I did at 17/18. I still struggle with all the many things that pull me in thousands of directions and won’t allow me the time to read as much ...more
Aug 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 Stars
This collection of essays was a bit of a hit or miss read for me. The two essays that actually corresponded to the title--Days of Reading 1 and 2, were wonderful, insightful, relatable and even funny at times. The parts about Ruskin and some other author whose name I cannot recall at the moment were less so... They had their profound moments as well, but most of it seemed rather nitpicky and overall not that interesting to someone who'd never, you know, actually read anything by those
Nov 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As the 100th and final book of this year's Goodreads challenge, I can say that Days of Reading is an apt book to end my many days of reading this year. I've never read criticism on criticism before, and, in that, was glad to read about Ruskin from Proust's perspective. Likewise, Proust's detailed memories of long bouts of reading offer its reader a range of vivid imagery that I found refreshing. A great read.
Nov 18, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018_read
Don't expect great literary work but will find some interesting ideas in his long sentences:
* an example of writing about books without saying anything about books - he accepts too
* joy of reading and what happens to it by growing up
* difference between reading and talking to the wisest man and where it helps finding oneself
* why classics are preferred
* memorization vs education/active reading
so i actually really enjoyed the days of reading essays (they were, as the kids say, a mood, although i don't agree with all of it) and the final few pages (the swann explained) made my writerly heart sing - but the first essay (making up almost half of the book) on ruskin was a chore. the brief extract on that one critic were surprisingly funny, to the point where i actually snorted and whispered "savage"
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It was an interesting investigation of what reading is, how we read, and how different people think about reading. He explores, at length, the thoughts and writings of various others as the basis for his examination and discussion. Not essential reading as far I can see? I imagine certain fans of Proust would enjoy this.
The essays Days of Reading I and II as well as Proust’s brief discussion of his well known novels ‘Swann’s Way; In Search it Lost Time’ are the highlights here. I especially loved Proust recalling his own personal history with his love of literature as a child.

Mirko Bozic
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One may not instantly connect Marcel Proust with something beyond autobiographical fiction, but this collection of essays shows his ability of highly profound discourse of something as spiritually crucial as reading.
Mar 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Proust’s essay On Reading is perfection.
Jul 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“If we are unable to relight the fires of the past, we would like at least to gather up their ashes”
Jun 24, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I should read more Proust. Also, I needed to be a little more drunk and nostalgic for this.
Mar 25, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Style precluded me from finishing. Needlessly rambling and the worst kind of poetic. May attempt his fiction later on.
"Then the last page had been read, the book was finished. The frantic career of the eyes and of the voice which had been following them, noiselessly, pausing only to catch it's breath, had to be halted, in a deep sigh. And then, so as to give the turbulence loose inside me for too long to be able to still itself other movements to control, I would get up and start walking up and down by my bed, my eyes still fixed on some point that might have been looked for in vain either inside the room or ...more
Apr 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In a surprising twist of fate, I gave this book four stars based on its first essay (on Ruskin) than for the actual "Days of Reading" essays, which make up the latter two-thirds of the book (and why I ostensibly purchased the book in the first place). Although the "Days of Reading" essays are, as always with Proust, lovingly and obsessively crafted, they are also a little self-indulgent. He reflects on his childhood reading haunts, how books took him away from his everyday life, etc. Certainly ...more
Elise Barker
May 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I mosrly read this for Days of Reading I, which was incredibly interesting. Proust describes childhood reading experiences, trying to escape the working world to read, but inevitably experiencing the world around him nevertheless. He remembers all the details in his childhood room, the sound of the churchbell in the park, where he had escaped to read, the smell of the genoa cakes on Sundays. He describes all of these sensory experiences with reverence, and the church looms large in the account, ...more
Jan 10, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Extracted from a larger collection, Against Saint-Beuve and Other Essays, Days of Reading is a very loose study of reading and the pleasures to be found there. Two long-form essays, 'John Ruskin' and 'Days of Reading (I)', form the bulk of this little book and together with three other short pieces, they outline Proust's thoughts on books and reading. It can be a little tough, however, to find those thoughts among the meandering and tangents and infuriatingly long sentences that seem to go ...more
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French novelist, best known for his 3000 page masterpiece À la recherche du temps perdu (Remembrance of Things Past or In Search of Lost Time), a pseudo-autobiographical novel told mostly in a stream-of-consciousness style.

Born in the first year of the Third Republic, the young Marcel, like his narrator, was a delicate child from a bourgeois family. He was active in Parisian high society during
“There are perhaps no days of our childhood we lived so fully as those we believe we left without having lived them, those we spent with a favorite book.” 324 likes
“On no days of our childhood did we live so fully perhaps as those we thought we had left behind without living them, those that we spent with a favourite book.” 12 likes
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