Chad asked:

What is the best way to read HOL?

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Juli Kinrich With the lights on. While your partner is at home, not gone on a business trip. With your teddy bear on one side of you and your big, loyal, scary-looking dog on the other. And the blankets drawn up to your chin.
Sander This book must be read on paper, as it depends heavily on typography and the sheer experience of holding a physical book. There are several times when the story refers to certain elements that appear only in some editions, so a first edition is the best option.
Onetruesolipsist Follow the annotations. If you are redirected to an appendix, read that appendix.
robert all the way to the end. the story INCLUDES the appendices, and it is likely that you will not crack the code unless you read them. what you think the book is about may change radically depending on whether you keep going all the way to the end.
Jeanne Mixon There is a lot of material that is meant to be skipped. Skip it. Every word is not golden. You will easily figure out for example when there are hundreds of words devoted to the architectural elements that are NOT present in the haunted section of the house I mean who cares what it isn't. That is clearly meant to be skipped. Or the long listings of movies based on haunted houses. Skip. Focus on the central story and the footnoted story and skip the boxed lists.
Eliza Definitely not in wide open spaces. Or enclosed spaces.
Heather I'm only about 100 pages in so far, but I've found that reading it as it's presented (meaning sorting through the footnotes as they are dealt) makes the most sense to me. It's sometimes clunky and hard to figure out what references what, but I'm of the belief that the author chose to include the footnotes at the places that he did because they contribute something to what is being presented, and that means in each individual case. You should definitely read the referenced appendices (which I also read as they were mentioned in the main body of the text) because they give the characters more depth that you don't get merely from reading the main text.
Rona I am reading it like an academic book. This is how I was taught to do that: read the main body of text, by chapter. Then read the subtext/footnotes in the order they appear and relate to the main body. I am looking at appendixes, as they appear. When Johnny's story appears, I continue his narrative until it is finished in that chapter.
I find that I am skimming parts that don't interest me.
Matthew Waterman Contextually? I'd suggest reading it once linearly, along with the footnotes on the literal page. Then, if you enjoyed it sufficiently, read AGAIN while flipping to the reference material. It truly results in two different novels.

Geographically? His sister, Poe, made a concept album (Haunted) to pair with the novel. IMHO, I'd get about halfway through and then set up a time where you're alone and very cold. Put 'Haunted' on repeat. Get lost in it....
Mandie Stick to the Navidson Report only and skip 75% of that
Jeri I read this book along with the Booktube Reading Buddies group. They decided how to separate it out and we discussed it as each section for that week. Once I started reading, I didn't want to stop. The buddy read DEFINITELY made the book less terrifying to get into.
Thomas Fackler Like the internet. Like you listen to your friends. Like your favorite enemy has offered you several pills and other options. Like you pick your meals out every Wednesday. Like a painstaking farce. Like you're dead and none are living after you. Like you read your fate in café-space AND in m-space. In short; like you will live your life.
Ninja Notion I read it as linearly as I could. Read from back to front or front to back. Any way you wish. But read every word and digest every symbol and design.
Jim Without expectations. The fans of this are so extremely effusive and the detractors are equally dismissive of its value.
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by Mark Z. Danielewski (Goodreads Author)
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