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The Innocent Reader: Reflections on Reading and Writing

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  21 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Books are impractical companions and housemates: they are heavy when you are travelling, and in the home take up a lot of space, are hard to keep clean, and harbour insects. It is not a matter of the physical book, it is the deep emotional connection that stretches back to my early years. Living without them is unimaginable.

These collected essays share a joyous and
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Paperback, 272 pages
Published September 24th 2019 by Picador Australia (first published September 2019)
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Nick
Dec 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
I could really relate to some of these essays. Thoughts of being told off for reading too much as a child (like it was bad for your health and showed bad manners), or the idea that books are like lovers to a reader (or an insomniac in the authors case), or reading as a type of sport (I like that one), similar early reading experiences (Tolkien and C.S. Lewis). “Best Quacks” meant a great deal to me, as well, it really resonated. The essays on writing, teaching creative writing and editing were ...more
Helen Goltz
Oct 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I felt as if I had come home as I read this book. I was sure at one stage Debra was channelling my life. How delightful to have a love of books so beautifully represented and to normalise that passion which is reading, especially reading in bed nightly. Debra also made my lifelong love affair with the library appear normal, thank you very much. I'm still amazed every time I walk out with books tucked under my arm that I'm allowed to take them home. The adventures, the escapism, the life ...more
Helen
Nov 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
‘Every book I have read becomes part of me, and discarding any is like tearing out a page from my own life.’

Debra Adelaide’s book, ‘The Innocent Reader’ is a collection of essays about reading rather than a straight out story of a literary life. The range of essays are divided into three sections - reading, writing and then the two combined - in which she describes the importance of books in shaping her (and inadvertently, other avid readers) life.

‘Only in recent years have I come to understand
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Bethwyn (Butterfly Elephant Books)
Review to come on my blog ^_^
Kristen
Nov 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
I don't know how (or even if I should) review this book! Especially after the essay regarding reviewers. Why do we review books? Why should we? I have so much to think about!

The Innocent Reader is, on the whole, a mind blowing, at times touching and wonderfully fresh collection of insights into why we read, why we write, books and reading as relational tools. I've never thought about some of the concepts that Adelaide so completely theorises in this book but I will be thinking of them for ever
...more
Nicki Markus
Sep 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-non-fiction
The Innocent Reader was certainly an interesting read. In some of the essays, Adelaide's thoughts resonated closely to my own. There were things I found amusing and others with which I sympathised. The essays focusing on Adelaide's own writing fell a bit flat for me, but that may simply be because I have not read any of her work and thus had no point of reference for the discussion. However, I am sure many, if not all, readers, writers, and editors will find something to interest them in this ...more
Toni Kely-Brown
I liked this book even though I haven't actually read any books by Debra Adelaide. But I do like books about books and reading! I really liked 'Writing' and 'Reader + Writer' I think because I've always been a reader (who knows I don't have a novel in me!) and I enjoyed the insights into writing, editing and the Australian publishing industry.
Susanne (Pages of Crime)
Nov 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
An enjoyable collection of essays that look at the joys of reading, the struggles of writing and finally the combining of the two. The first two sections 'Reading' and 'Writing' are the strongest, with the third section 'Reader + Writer' containing a couple of interesting chapters but one (Reading to the Dog) that doesn't quite seem to work, for me at least.

There are some interesting points to take from this collection that I will dip back into during my reading and writing life.
Kate Cuthbert
Reviewed for Books and Publishing
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Debra Adelaide has worked as a researcher, editor, and book reviewer, and has a PhD from the University of Sydney. She is presently a senior lecturer in creative writing at the University of Technology, Sydney, where she lives with her husband and three children.

See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debra_Ad...