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Contra la lectura

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3.35  ·  Rating details ·  389 ratings  ·  84 reviews
Te dijeron que no podías subrayar ni doblar las páginas de los libros.
Te dijeron que tenías que leer un clásico del siglo XVIII a los doce años.
Te dijeron que eso que leías por las noches era basura.
Te dijeron que nunca podías dejar un libro a medias.
Te dijeron que los lectores son buenas personas.
Te dijeron que ya nadie lee como antes.
Te dijeron que los libros te harían a
...more
Hardcover, 168 pages
Published February 2018 by Blackie Books (first published February 12th 2008)
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Average rating 3.35  · 
Rating details
 ·  389 ratings  ·  84 reviews


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Jenny (Reading Envy)
I really enjoyed the first few chapters of this book, as well as the introduction, which asks useful questions about books, literature with a capital L, reading, and literacy. Then everything devolved into a weird justification of her own favorite things to read and her obsession with the macabre. I also thinks she suffers a supreme failure by avoiding the idea of reading in non-solitary ways - book clubs, what the Internet adds to appreciation of reading in a highly social environment, and so o ...more
Heather
The first third of this book was really interesting and very identifiable. The social impact of spending your childhood behind a book is substatial and I can certainly relate.

Sadly, the author spent most of the rest of the book proselytizing about the awesomeness of true crime, memoir, celebrity biography, and psychological case studies. While I have no issues with those genres specifically, those chapters don't contribute anything to the opening premise. The book presents as a discussion of th
...more
Yvonne
Feb 28, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Maybe this book should have a solitary existence.
Mary Frances
Oct 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book amused me quite a bit. I particularly laughed aloud when reading her rather amazing examples of how her college students seem to have no clue that there was a world before they were teens, and that there were books in it. I loved her admission that, like me, she dislikes Russian literature. And for much the same reasons I do. THis is not an indictment of reading, but a charming affirmation for book lovers- while giving the reader permission to read for pleasure and wonder and not becau ...more
Allison
Nov 24, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fic
This book really isn't against reading--but it is against lit-snobs, mindless allegiance to classic texts, and the kind of intense book love that keeps people in the company of books more than it does other people. It's obvious that Mikita Brottman loves books, though, and I really enjoyed reading her arguments in favor of true-crime novels, The Da Vinci Code, and gossip blogs. Because this book was published very recently, many of the pop culture references are in fact, still popular. Come to t ...more
Mike
Apr 29, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This book came at a crucial moment for me when I was having a minor existential crisis about reading, why I read, how mush I read, etc. The first 100 or so pages covered that topic in just the way I needed. And for that I very much appreciate this book.

In the second half of the book, the author explored some of her favorite devalued genres and argued their validity. I found this boring and I skipped/skimmed that last 50 pages before the conclusion. Maybe I would have like these sections better
...more
Yuri
Jul 27, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It starts out very exciting, but on the last chapters it becomes quite tiring and a bit off-topic as well, as the author writes about some of her favourite literary genres. Good writing, though, and still overall recommended.
Joseph Weyek
I worship The Brothers Karamazov and War and Peace. To the author they are just long, confusing and depressing Russian novels.

To me George Eliot is the wisest of the wise. To the author she's a Victorian moralist who doesn't create memorable characters.

To me celebrities are trivial people who barely register on my radar screen. To the author they are archetypes or even gods and goddesses.

I think the author is mentally ill and probably good in bed. Pity.
Elvin
Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Promising, but doesn't live up to the promise. Too quickly - and too permanently - the book becomes not about books and reading but about the author herself, filled with cliches and oversimplifications.
Kubra Bodur
May 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've underlined the papers as much as I had never done. Very detailed, informative and comprehensive- especially for the ones who are interested and mastered in English and/or American literature. However, it got too much subjective commentary through the last chapters.
Dan
Jun 20, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Could have been a contender. 4 🌟 for first half, 2 🌟 for second.
Kirsten
Jul 25, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
There's a general state of alarm that people are reading less than they used to. Brottman questions why we have campaigns now to promote more reading. Where did this idea that reading is good for you come from? In the past most people didn't read, only an elite, and experts thought reading was distracting and dangerous. "Women, [Theophrastus, disciple of Plato] claimed, should be taught only whatever is necessary to run a household, because anything more brings with it the danger of turning them ...more
Chazzle
Jul 09, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who enjoy books about books
Recommended to Chazzle by: no one
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 agr
...more
Justin
Sep 12, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one's tricky to review because it's greatest flaw is that it completely deviates from what it suggests it'll be about. Taken as a book about why we shouldn't read, it doesn't work at all, but it's hard to change my mindset to read it for what it was. The second half of the book is largely a look at the value of reading things other than high literature, an argument which seems a little late to the game. Brottman's voice is engaging throughout, but I found myself wandering away, and I wasn't ...more
Rae
I would likely have given this book a higher rating but I disliked her title (which refers to the term the Victorians used for masturbation) and her comparison of reading to that solitary activity. Fortunately, she only alludes to it in the first chapter and then never really mentions it again.

She really isn't against reading...but she does advocate more thought in WHAT we read. If we aren't enjoying what we read...then why continue? And she also says we should take a breather once in a while an
...more
Kamal
Mar 10, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As many others have noted, this book is not an indictment of reading, but rather an inquiry into the often unconsidered underlying values of readers. Brottman scoffs at capital-R Reading in the sense of literary classics and high culture and instead promotes a compelling case for pulp fiction, biography, tabloid gossip and psychoanalytic case studies. This may all seem quite disparate, and it is, but her argument is so subtly executed that it takes a great deal of engagement on the part of the r ...more
Angela
I equal parts hated this book and equal parts enjoyed this book. I picked it up on the spur of the moment at the library in lieu of Wendy Lesser's "Why I Read." I was definitely engaged by her discussions of why reading isn't necessarily the be all end all of a fulfilling life. She lost me with her dismissal of the Russian classics and the importance of reading "the canon." I was somewhat compelled by her ideas about true crime reflecting the darker aspects of humanity, and the vital need to rea ...more
Kevin McAllister
Mar 07, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Don't be fooled by the title. Mikita Brottman loves to read.It's merely a ploy to draw the reader in.(Worked on me). What she actually argues against is literary snobbery. She takes offence to those who proclaim that the "Literary Classics' are the only worthwhile way to examine the depths of the human psyche. Brottman discusses a number of genres which she personally feels have given her more insight into the human mind. Some of her favorites are modern bestsellers, tell all bios, true crime bo ...more
Scott
May 12, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
For the title and the last line of the book alone, this book should probably be read by everyone in this group.
However, far from what the title suggests, this is a more a book about about the importance of simply reading what you enjoy rather than what you "should" read. Some interesting history of reading and insightful chapters on true crime novels and true life-style hollywood exposé pulp, Brottman is always eager to embrace the trash fiction, horrible films, and other topics deemed too low f
...more
Boorrito
The first half was very good and really funny in parts (especially her description of Jane Eyre's appeal to sulky teenage girls - been there, done that!), the second half drags and reads more like "I like reading these books and this is why" which is fine but it clashes with the first half. Brottman does come across, however, as someone I'd like to hang out with which I can't say for a lot of authors.

I also might not be the target audience, since I read what I want to read and literacy snobbery
...more
Ruthiella
Jan 08, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ruthiella by: Rachel
Shelves: non-fiction
This was on Rachel's 2009 book list. It was an interesting book about reading, why we read, what we read, whether there are books one “should” read versus other available literature. Brottmann disabuses the notion that “reading is good for you” and emphasizes that reading for pleasure is just as important as reading for erudition. Brottmann recommends that if you aren’t enjoying a book, go ahead and abandon it. As much as this idea appeals to me, I know I can’t / won’t follow it.
Lou
Feb 23, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
interesting so far, but she flips around between saying there should be more discernment taught to kids about reading, and that adults should read for fun first. weird.

in the end, the later chapters spin off into weird ramblings that don't have much to do about the themes she brings up in the first half of the book, and weren't very interesting to me. skim skim and skim.
Beyle
Jun 09, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book amusing. The book was something different than I had expected. I would definitely reread it though.

The title is a misnomer. Ms. Brottman discusses mainstream fiction (actually, true crime) in a way that places it on a similar level with the classics.

I don't want to give too much away, but her ideas are interesting.
Tamara
Dec 08, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gen-nonfic, 2009
I liked the first 1/3 to 1/2. The pace kept up, the commentary was interesting. Then somewhere around the half-point mark, I just lost interest. I can't pinpoint exactly why, but I just lightly skimmed the second half and don't feel I missed much.
Gloria
Jan 16, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Against Reading? Blasphemy! A Publisher's Weekly "Best Book" for 2008, this title is only a lure to get you to read it. Go figure. Best concepts: Pause between books to absorb the message, and don't hide from the world. Overall, provides insights as to why we read and how we read.
Kristenyque
I agreed with what some other members mentioned, initially I enjoyed the book but then it turned into a dark, odd tangent. I researched the author and her book on cannibalism isn't surprising. (That's how dark.)
Ruth Gilbert
Jun 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a really interesting book, that had me thinking about my own reading habits. I wasn't so interested in the sections about true crime and celebrity gossip, but I liked it - some of it, very much.
Yvonne
Apr 01, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I half-read this. Good premise, not enough engrossing material to prod me to finish it.
Andi M.
Apr 27, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Mediocre at best. Weird rants, odd chapters, random topics. It wasn't terribly cohesive, and she couldn't decide if she wanted to be scholarly or fan-girlish.
Ellen
If there were any book I was tempted to pre-emptively give one star...
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Mikita Brottman (born 30 October 1966) is a British scholar, psychoanalyst, author and cultural critic known for her psychological readings of the dark and pathological elements of contemporary culture. She received a D.Phil in English Language and Literature from Oxford University, was a Visiting Professor of Comparative Literature at Indiana University, and was Chair of the program in Engaged Hu ...more

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