How Reading Changed My Life and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
CDN$ 10.83
  • List Price: CDN$ 15.00
  • You Save: CDN$ 4.17 (28%)
FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25.
Only 3 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.ca.
Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

How Reading Changed My Life Paperback – Aug 25 1998


See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Library Binding
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
CDN$ 10.83
CDN$ 2.27 CDN$ 0.01

2014 Books Gift Guide
Thug Kitchen, adapted from the wildly popular web site beloved by Gwyneth Paltrow ("This might be my favorite thing ever"), is featured in our 2014 Books Gift Guide. More gift ideas

Frequently Bought Together

How Reading Changed My Life + A Short Guide to a Happy Life + Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake
Price For All Three: CDN$ 38.39


Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought



Product Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (Aug. 25 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345422783
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345422781
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 0.7 x 20.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 45 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #115,875 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

A recurring theme throughout Anna Quindlen's How Reading Changed My Life is the comforting premise that readers are never alone. "There was waking, and there was sleeping. And then there were books," she writes, "a kind of parallel universe in which anything might happen and frequently did, a universe in which I might be a newcomer but never really a stranger. My real, true world." Later, she quotes editor Hazel Rochman: "Reading makes immigrants of us all. It takes us away from home, but, most important, it finds homes for us everywhere." Indeed, Quindlen's essays are full of the names of "friends," real or fictional--Anne of Green Gables and Heidi; Anthony Trollope and Jane Austen, to name just a few--who have comforted, inspired, educated, and delighted her throughout her life. In four short essays Quindlen shares her thoughts on the act of reading itself ("It is like the rubbing of two sticks together to make a fire, the act of reading, an improbable pedestrian task that leads to heat and light"); analyzes the difference between how men and women read ("there are very few books in which male characters, much less boys, are portrayed as devoted readers"); and cheerfully defends middlebrow literature:
Most of those so-called middlebrow readers would have readily admitted that the Iliad set a standard that could not be matched by What Makes Sammy Run? or Exodus. But any reader with common sense would also understand intuitively, immediately, that such comparisons are false, that the uses of reading are vast and variegated and that some of them are not addressed by Homer.
The Canon, censorship, and the future of publishing, not to mention that of reading itself, are all subjects Quindlen addresses with intelligence and optimism in a book that may not change your life, but will no doubt remind you of other books that did. --Alix Wilber

From Publishers Weekly

In this pithy celebration of the power and joys of reading, Quindlen emphasizes that books are not simply a means of imparting knowledge, but also a way to strengthen emotional connectedness, to lessen isolation, to explore alternate realities and to challenge the established order. To these ends much of the book forms a plea for intellectual freedom as well as a personal paean to reading. Quindlen (One True Thing) recalls her own early love affair with reading; writes with unabashed fervor of books that shaped her psychosexual maturation (John Galsworthy's The Forsyte Saga, Mary McCarthy's The Group); and discusses the books that made her a liberal committed to fighting social injustice (Dickens, the Bible). She compares reading books to intimate friendship?both activities enable us to deconstruct the underpinnings of interpersonal problems and relationships. Her analysis of the limitations of the computer screen is another rebuttal of those who predict the imminent demise of the book. In order to further inspire potential readers, she includes her own admittedly "arbitrary and capricious" reading lists? "The 10 books I would save in a fire," "10 modern novels that made me proud to be a writer," "10 books that will help a teenager feel more human" and various other categories. But most of all, like the columns she used to write for the New York Times, this essay is tart, smart, full of quirky insights, lapidary and a pleasure to read. (Sept.) FYI: This is the latest in Ballantine's Library of Contemporary Thought.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
THE STORIES ABOUT my childhood, the ones that stuck, that got told and retold at dinner tables, to dates as I sat by red-faced, to my own children by my father later on, are stories of running away. Read the first page
Explore More
Concordance
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback
Anna Quindlen's "How Reading Changed My Life" is a charming and inspiring blend of autobiography and informal cultural criticism. In the book Quindlen reflects on books, reading, and readers.
Quindlen notes, "While we pay lip service to the virtues of reading, the truth is that there is in our culture something that suspects those who read too much, whatever reading too much means, of being lazy, aimless dreamers [...]." These, and many other insights in this book, really resonated with me. Throughout the book, Quindlen celebrates what she calls a "lively subculture" of truly serious readers.
Quindlen reflects on differences in men's and women's reading practices, on book groups, on skirmishes over "The Canon" of great books, on banned books, and on other topics. She tells how reading helped her keep her sanity during the "year of disarray" after the birth of her second child, and recalls how she fell in love with John Galsworthy's "Forsyte Saga." Ultimately, she explains why she believes that new technologies will not make old-fashioned books (versus online books) obsolete.
HRCML is full of wonderful passages, such as a remembered epiphany over D.H. Lawrence. This short book concludes with a few reading lists: "10 Nonfiction Books That Help Us Understand the World," "The 10 Books I Would Save in a Fire (If I Could Save Only 10)," etc. If you are a serious reader, I predict that, like me, you will recognize a kindred spirit in these pages, and will rejoice.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
By Maggie Ewing on Aug. 25 2001
Format: Paperback
THIS WONDERFUL BOOK TOUCHED MY HEART THE DAY I PURCHASED IT JUST BEFORE CHRISTMAS DAY AROUND THREE YEARS AGO. I SPENT A FEW DAYS JUST ENGROSSED IN IT. ALL THE BOOKS THAT KEPT ME INSIDE LIKE ANNA HERSELF: I REMEMBER MY MOTHER EVEN NOW SAYING "DON'T READ - TALK TO ME WHILE YOU ARE HERE" - ANNA TOUCHED ON THE LOVE OF BOOKS LIKE NO OTHER PERSON HAS. THAT WONDERFUL COMMON THREAD WE ALL SHARE - THE LOVE OF READING AND THE LOVE OF WORDS AND THE LOVE OF BOOKS. AT THE BACK OF THE BOOK HER LISTS WERE COMPARABLE TO WHAT I READ, BUT I HAD FUN CHANGING AND COMPILING MY OWN, AND IT DID BETTER THAN THAT, IT CHALLENGED ME TO READ SOME OF THE BOOKS I HAD NOT READ BEFORE. THIS BOOK IS MY "COMFORT READ" WHEN NOTHING ELSE WILL DO - THIS IS THE BOOK I REACH FROM MY SIDE TABLE AND IS MY FRIEND, IT IS A BOOK TO SAVOR. I WISH MORE PEOPLE NEW ABOUT THIS BOOK AND NEW OF ITS CONTENTS, EVEN THOUGH ONLY THIN, IT IS MIGHTY POWERFUL AND MAKES ME FEEL PASSIONATE, LIKE ANNA, READING HAS CHANGED MY LIFE, A LIFE I ENJOY, AND AMONG FRIENDS - ALWAYS.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Format: Paperback
Author, Anna Quindlen shares with her audience her deep love for reading and its impact upon her life. She takes us on a nostalgic walk through her memories as a reader. You will see yourself as a reader through her eyes. Remember when parents and friends thought you strange when you preferred reading over going outside to play? All of us have been there with Quindlen as we were taken to different worlds and experienced different thoughts through the written word.
Quindlen further expands her commentary about reading that deals with a number of issues. She looks at the impact of the computer on the future of books, comments on Americans belief that reading is good only if it is functional, shares with us the never ending issue of book banning and the academic controversy surrounding the literary canon.
Reading holds a very important place in Quindlen's life but the greatest weakness of this work is that she doesn't tell us how reading itself changed her life. Certainly books opened a new world for her but how did this unveiling move her as a writer and a person? You never find out. She provides for us lists of her favorate ten books for various occasions. Reading lists are very personal but I find it strange that her canon is predominently white and male especially when she speaks out against literary lists that are monocultural. Apparently she doesn't practice what she preaches.
Overall her insights give you an appreciation of the written word and the delight books can give to its readers. People should not only take reading seriously but also enjoy the best and worst of what books have to offer. Quindlen does an excellent job in inspiring you to keep an open mind and to keep on reading.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
By audrey on Aug. 6 2001
Format: Paperback
Anna Quindlen has always written in a friendly, accessible style, and in this essay she explores a topic dear to [our] hearts: reading. Furthermore, she articulates what many of us feel -- that reading is not just for literary critics and deconstructionists; that there is as much validity in reading for pleasure as in reading for improvement; that there is a delicious paradox in such a solitary activity leading to a sense of community.
Through her personal anecdotes, Quindlen relates shared experiences: of having a professor sneer at a book she loved (I had the same thing happen with Michener -- a wonderful author who has never been taken seriously by the literati); of the first book that made her look at the world in a new way (for me it was The Hobbit); of being the only kid in the neighborhood who'd rather be reading than playing kick-the-can (oh, yes!); of the joy of sharing good books with others.
The author includes 11 top-ten lists (e.g. Books That Will Help a Teenager Feel More Human, Books I Would Save in a Fire).
Quindlen's work in general, and 'How Reading Changed My Life' in particular, is the stuff at the soul of [...] a joyful community of readers. As she says, "Reading has always been my home, my sustenance, my great invincible companion". There are so many gems; [...], you will probably enjoy this little book.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.

Most recent customer reviews



Feedback