55: How to Talk About Books You Haven’t Read

How much of our talk about books is really about books? Is reading just skimming by another name? And if our relationship to books is largely based on selective memories and private reimaginations anyway, why not skip the reading and go straight to the reimagining?

The Sometime Seminar discusses How to Talk About Books You Haven’t Read (2007) by Pierre Bayard, an essay in contrarian irreverence that’s also a surprisingly thoughtful meditation on the phenomenology and social psychology of reading.

Supplemental links: Bayard discusses the book in a NYPL event with Umberto Eco and Paul Holdengräber (YouTube); reviews from Jay McInerney, Toby Lichtig, Billy Collins, Sam Anderson

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