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Books, Books, Books > How to Read a Hard Book

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message 1: by Apokripos (new)

Apokripos (apokalypse) | 3321 comments Hey Guys!
This is good reading advice whenever you found yourselves with a hard to read book.
Enjoy!
How To Read a Hard Book


message 2: by Apokripos (new)

Apokripos (apokalypse) | 3321 comments WHat's funny?


message 3: by [deleted user] (last edited Aug 04, 2009 08:02AM) (new)

jzhunagev wrote: "Hey Guys!
This is good reading advice whenever you found yourselves with a hard to read book.
Enjoy!
How To Read a Hard Book "



Ok, here's the gist of what I picked up...

1. Clear your mind of expectations and open it to chapter one. Listen with nothing more than ordinary human curiosity to the voice that begins speaking to you. –Geoffrey Sanburn

2. Read fast. – Marcelle Clements

3. Dig in.. – Dawn Raffel

4. You need to forget about a novel having a beginning, middle, and end. – Burton Pike

Hmm, no there's nothing funny, probably just a bit difficult to digest.



message 4: by Violeta (new)

Violeta (violetagloria) | 46 comments i prefer the soft but thanks for the advise anyway!


message 5: by Lionel (new)

Lionel Valdellon (lionelv) SO wait, this is for fiction or non-fiction? Because for non-fiction I find I need to:
1) Underline interesting parts with a pencil.
2) note good ideas in the margin
3) note things to research or find out more about in the margin
4) write down a summary at end of each chapter with a pencil. on the book itself. OR ... take notes on index cards and stick them in the proper place.





message 6: by Apokripos (new)

Apokripos (apokalypse) | 3321 comments It applies to either fiction or non-fiction, as long as they are books, Lionel.

Thanks! ^_^


message 7: by Lionel (new)

Lionel Valdellon (lionelv) But jzhunagev, if it's a hard-to-read fiction book, all you really need to do is simply keep going till the end.

Optional is to mark up the book with a pencil for notes and memorable passages.


message 8: by Apokripos (new)

Apokripos (apokalypse) | 3321 comments Either you put up with it or chuck the book out...

Hahaha! :D

just kidding...


message 9: by Beng (last edited Jan 27, 2010 02:19AM) (new)

Beng Lionel wrote:"Optional is to mark up the book with a pencil for notes and memorable passages. "

I use post-it / sticky paper for this purposes.

You're right Lionel, you just have to stick with the book till the end. Previously, I used to follow jzhunagev's advice. hehehe ;p




message 10: by Lionel (new)

Lionel Valdellon (lionelv) There have been books in the past which I gave up on and tossed out (of my bed) but when I've had the patience to return to them, they often are the ones that reward you the most!

Example: the DUNE sci-fi series by Frank Herbert !!!!!



message 11: by Apokripos (new)

Apokripos (apokalypse) | 3321 comments let's see about that Lionel. I haveDune waiting to be read.

Let's see..


message 12: by K.D. (new)

K.D. Absolutely (oldkd) | 6065 comments Lionel - for hard to understand books, I just read them. Then when I am lost, I go to Wikipedia or other sites and read the synopsis. Then I go back to the book and continue. If it still does not work, I see if there is a movie adaptation (so the visualization while reading will not be too hard). If it still does not work, maybe it is not worth reading it after all. Another technique is to read some shorter and simple works of the author first before going to his longer and more complex ones. Examples: Pynchon: go for V before his Gravity's Rainbow; Joyce: The Portrait of a Young Man as an Artist before Ulysses, DeLillo: Body Artist before Underworld. By doing so, you will be able to adjust to the rhythm and style of the author first.


message 13: by Apokripos (new)

Apokripos (apokalypse) | 3321 comments As for me I always read an author chronologically. From his very first published novel to the last. I did that with King and Follett.


message 14: by Beng (new)

Beng jzhunagev wrote: "As for me I always read an author chronologically. From his very first published novel to the last. I did that with King and Follett."

Just admit it...
You read them chronologically because you have OCD. :)))


message 15: by Apokripos (new)

Apokripos (apokalypse) | 3321 comments Yeah Beng! I have the most weirdest OCD EVER!

Not to mention that I almost always have to cover my books first with a first rate plastic cover before reading them. That I don't want to crease the book's spine if it is a paperback or a trade paperback, for that matter. And many others not fit to be mentioned here and like Holden Caufield I would like to keep it to myself and be a recluse with all my unheard of OCDs..

Hahaha! :D


message 16: by Beng (new)

Beng jzhunagev wrote: "Not to mention that I almost always have to cover my books first with a first rate plastic cover before reading them. That I don't want to crease the book's spine if it is a paperback or a trade paperback, for that matter."

Ditto! Me, I make my own book jackets, to replace the hardbound jackets, para di masira while reading it. ;p


message 17: by Lynai (new)

Lynai | 1188 comments In the first place, if it's a hard to read book, I don't read it. I read for leisure and pleasure and if a book doesn't give me that, why bother? Hehehe. Oh well, maybe except for THOSE books I really NEED to read like the ones required in school. For books such as these, I find highlighting and making notes on the margins as my aids to reading. And it worked since I get to finish school on time! Hehehe. :D


message 18: by Lionel (new)

Lionel Valdellon (lionelv) jzhunagev wrote: "let's see about that Lionel. I haveDune waiting to be read.

Let's see.."


The DUNE series is so worth it. I haven't immersed myself in a more complete world than Herbert's since Tolkien's LOTR.


message 19: by K.D. (new)

K.D. Absolutely (oldkd) | 6065 comments Same here Jzhunagev. Even those I bought from BS, I cover them with the thickest cellophane from NBS. I can not read a book with plastic cover.


message 20: by Noreen (new)

Noreen (citygirl_noreen) Sometimes, there are books that need to be re-read at certain times to really understand it. When I first read Love in the Time of Cholera, I didn't really get it that much. Must be because I was quite young. But as I got older, I read it up again, I began to understand the story.... pero matagal na yon kaya nakalimutan ko na yata. So I need to read it again, lol. :P


message 21: by K.D. (new)

K.D. Absolutely (oldkd) | 6065 comments tama yan, Noreen. tsaka your perspective as a person changes as you grow older. nagkakaroon ng bagong meaning ang story. when i was in hi-school, I read Lolita. ang hinintay-hintay ko eh yong sex scenes (pero wala halos). This year, after 30 years and already a father to a 14 y/o girl, nakaka-relate na ako ng konti sa thoughts noong father. not that I am a pedophile but as somebody who lost love and asking the usual question of "what if?) LOL rin. har har har


message 22: by Maryse (new)

Maryse (belle_maryse) | 151 comments Lynai wrote: "In the first place, if it's a hard to read book, I don't read it. I read for leisure and pleasure and if a book doesn't give me that, why bother? Hehehe. Oh well, maybe except for THOSE books I rea..."

Haha, same here. I think the hardest book I've read is Harrison's Principles, and there's really no other way to understand it but to read it again and again and again and again and again until one's eyes bleed.

I actually enjoy reading "difficult" literary books, just because it's much more gratifying when you go through the challenge of trying to understanding their thoughts rather than just reading what they think up front.



message 23: by Beng (new)

Beng Noreen wrote: "Sometimes, there are books that need to be re-read at certain times to really understand it. "

True. Love is sweeter the second time around.

(Hay, I'm beginning to be cheesy. February na kasi...
Marco, you have to knock some sense into me!)


message 24: by Apokripos (new)

Apokripos (apokalypse) | 3321 comments Beng wrote: "True. Love is sweeter the second time around.

(Hay, I'm beginning to be cheesy. February na kasi...
Marco, you have to knock some sense into me!)
"


Yaan mo I'll treat you to a Greenwich date para mas lalo tayong maging cheesy! Hahaha!! :D




message 25: by Apokripos (last edited Jan 31, 2010 05:08PM) (new)

Apokripos (apokalypse) | 3321 comments @Noreen, Doni & Maryse:

I do get that when I re-read books. And good the thing is, even though I had read it like to the fifth iteration, and knew the ins and outs of the story, I still finds them as fresh as ever.

Like reading one of my favorite author's masterpiece The Old Man and the Sea there's always something new to learn whenever I read the book or by just browsing its pages.

This idea also reminded me that I have to read again one of the revolutionary book that changed how I see the world: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It's a year over due.

I think re-reading books comes with age and in gaining wisdom.

As T.S. Eliot said: "We must not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we began and to know the place for the first time."

Creepy cheers to y'all!! ~^^~


Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly (joselitohonestlyandbrilliantly) By themselves, I think there are no hard/easy books. There's just always the question of compatibility. If the reader and the book are compatible with each other, then the book would not be a hard one to read. I recently read, for example, Aldous Huxley's "Antic Hay" with 1922 vintage characters, satire and humor. I didn't like it. But it wasn't the fault of the book. I am sure that had I lived as an adult in 1922 I would have found the book outstanding. But we were incompatible, so the book was "hard" for me.

But which is it? Is it, "Here I am, a reader, I hope this book is compatible with me" or is it "Here am I, a book, reader make yourself compatible with me"?

Checking summaries/reviews/synopsis of a book, or watching its movie adaptation, before reading it are examples of attempts to making yourself compatible with the book. The danger here, however, is that your enjoyment of the book may only be chimerical, as it may be possible that those outside influences were what really connected with you and not the book.

I prefer to approach a book like I would try a new dish. I wouldn't want to know what it's ingredients are [unless I have suspicion that the dish may contain poison), or how it was cooked, or where the recipe originated, or its evolution and history. I just want it placed on the dining table, before me, and off it goes straight to my mouth. If it tastes good, I exult and perhaps that's the time I will ask who the cook was (so I can taste more of his dishes). And if I don't find it appetizing, then I pronounce it bad, no matter if the recipe had won awards in the past.

Books, after all, were written for the readers. It was not that we were born so that we can read those books.


message 27: by K.D. (new)

K.D. Absolutely (oldkd) | 6065 comments Nicely put!


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