Ideas Behind the Complexity of Reading

1007 Words5 Pages
Many would argue that to read a novel is a difficult and complex art. For one to fully understand a story, one must acquire pre-requisite skills to take all that they can, from what the author has given. This is undeniably true, as both Virginia Woolf, in “How Should One Read a Book?”, and James Wood in “The Limits of Not Quite” prove, that reading to its potential requires an open mind, the independence of the reader to ignore the critiques of others, while having the ability to make his or her own.
Far too often is it that people go into a novel with preconceived notions about its author, or the novel in particular. This is a huge mistake because “If you hang back, and reserve and criticize at first, you are preventing yourself from
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The most difficult task in passing judgment on a novel is “to press further, and say, ‘Not only is the book of this sort, but it is of this value; here it fails; here it succeed; this is bad; this is good’.” (Woolf) The process of evaluating the book, can also give the reader a different sense of what they had previously read, as he/she may come up with new ideas, that didn’t dawn upon them, while reading the book. This step in the reading experience takes a great sense of independence as well as an open mind. It is not an easy part of reading, but can open many new ideas to the reader, in a new light, that they had previously not previously encountered while actually reading the book. Reassessing what was read in a novel can be a quite difficult and complex process, but is vitally necessary for the reader, to taking all that they can from the book. Reading to its apex, requires the reader to make his/her own decisions, while keeping an open mind to the ideas of others. This can be quite difficult to achieve. For many even impossible, as far too often is the reader influenced by other sources, or are simply too close minded to accept anything new into their minds. To read this way, is not to
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