The Art of Reading

'...eminently readable, rousing and hugely intelligent...' - The Australian


We are not born readers, we learn to turn words into worlds. But why is fine writing lauded while excellent reading is ignored?

In The Art of Reading, philosopher Damon Young reveals the pleasures of this intimate pursuit through a rich sample of literature: from Virginia Woolf's diaries to Batman comics. He writes with honesty and humour about the blunders and revelations of his own bookish life.

Devoting each chapter to a literary virtue—curiosity, patience, courage, pride, temperance, justice—The Art of Reading celebrates the reader's power: to turn shapes on a page into a lifelong adventure.

The Art of Reading is out now in Australia. The UK edition will be published in June 2017 with Scribe UK. Foreign translations include: Dutch (2016), Turkish (2017), Chinese (2018).

Praise for the book:
'...an ethics of attention towards the written word.... [A]n eminently readable, rousing and hugely intelligent account.' - The Australian
'...a philosopher of fierce intellect and erudition, but also playful and eclectic in his tastes.' - The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald
'...an excellent argument for why reading is desirable for its own sake.' - Bookseller+Publisher 
'[N]uanced, articulate... the book illuminates the many prejudices and habits that a reader can have--and how fluid they are.' - The Big Issue
'A beautifully written and thoughtfully constructed ode to the inner worlds opened up by the page, and the role of reading in the discovery and development of the self. The Art of Reading is just what I needed to remind me I am neither alone - nor irrational - in my bibliophilia.’ - author Tara Moss
'A compelling riff on the best kind of reading - with unfettered curiosity and courage.' - Hilary McPhee, author, editor and publisher
'The Art of Reading is perhaps [Young's] best yet. It's difficult to write about an unseen phenomenon, and yet he does so engagingly, compulsively, from the first page...' - author John Birmingham 

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