Skip to content

The Ideal Reader

December 4, 2010


photo credit

The ideal reader is both generous and greedy.
The ideal reader reads all literature as if it were anonymous.

Reading a book from centuries ago, the ideal reader feels immortal.

The ideal reader must be willing, not only to suspend disbelief, but to embrace a new faith.

The ideal reader proselytizes.
The ideal reader is guiltlessly whimsical.
The ideal reader is capable of falling in love with one of the book’s characters.

The ideal reader is not concerned with genres.
-Alberto Manguel, A Reader on Reading

Advertisements
27 Comments leave one →
  1. December 4, 2010 5:47 am

    Ah, Manguel! :) Have you read The Library at Night?

    Greetings,
    Tiina

  2. December 4, 2010 8:02 am

    Oh, I love this so!

  3. December 4, 2010 8:29 am

    I LOVE that photo and can so relate to that guy!

  4. December 4, 2010 9:25 am

    Loved this quote, Eva!

    “The ideal reader reads all literature as if it were anonymous.” – It is wonderful to read a book without knowing anything about the author. Sometimes the life of the author inspires us even more, but I have also found that when we discover ‘not-so-good’ things about an author it colours our perception of the book. I felt very sad when I read about Herman Melville – how he was a nasty person in real life, though he was a genius writer.

    “The ideal reader is capable of falling in love with one of the book’s characters.” – Yes, yes :) I still remember Philip Calvert and Charlotte from ‘When Eight Bells Toll’.

    “The ideal reader is not concerned with genres.” – I love all genres!

    Alberto Manguel seems to be wonderful! I really have to take your suggestion and get started on his ‘A History of Reading’ soon :)

    Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this book.

    • December 13, 2010 3:43 am

      I didn’t realise Meville was nasty in real life! This is why I try to avoid learning anything about authors’ lives. hehe

      Manguel is great fun; I think you’ll really enjoy A History of Reading! I read this one earlier this year and talked about it. :)

  5. December 4, 2010 9:29 am

    What a wonderful quote–and photo. I’m always so glad to hear that other people fall in love with fictional characters!

  6. December 4, 2010 10:06 am

    Love it Eva :)

  7. December 4, 2010 12:11 pm

    “The ideal reader reads all literature as if it were anonymous.”

    Like Vishy, sometimes I like reading fiction without knowing anything about the author. Maybe I’ll read about the author after I’ve finished. With non-fiction, I usually want to know about the author at the beginning, to know where they’re coming from on a subject. With non-fiction, the author often does tell you about themselves anyway.

    “The ideal reader is capable of falling in love with one of the book’s characters.”

    I love it when that happens!

    • December 13, 2010 3:44 am

      I try to ALWAYS avoid learning anything about authors of fiction, with a very rare exception. But like you, I want to know more of the backgrounds of my nonfiction authors!

  8. December 4, 2010 12:50 pm

    I haven’t read any Manguel, this quote makes me think I should. I wonder if I am an ideal reader… hmmm, thats food for thought!

    • December 13, 2010 3:44 am

      Definite food for thought! I wonder if I am too. :)

  9. December 4, 2010 12:57 pm

    That’s a fantastic quote! :)

  10. December 4, 2010 12:58 pm

    I love manguel he is such a inspiration and talented writer ,all the best stu

  11. December 4, 2010 1:23 pm

    Great quote and oh so very true.

  12. December 4, 2010 1:37 pm

    I love these reading quotes you’ve been posting. Keep it up!

    • December 13, 2010 3:45 am

      Thanks! I’m planning on doing them every Saturday. :)

  13. FleurFisher permalink
    December 4, 2010 3:17 pm

    Love!

  14. December 4, 2010 5:01 pm

    Manguel is one of those authors I’ve never read but have always meant to read! What a wonderful quote (and picture!).

    • December 13, 2010 3:45 am

      I’d recommend starting with A History of Reading or The Library at Night. :)

  15. December 4, 2010 10:08 pm

    Oh I love this!

  16. December 4, 2010 10:20 pm

    Very cool! The photo is wonderful!

  17. December 5, 2010 5:07 pm

    ‘capable of falling in love with a character.’ So true. Oh Captain Wentworth!

    • December 13, 2010 3:46 am

      You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope.

      *swoon*

  18. December 6, 2010 1:02 pm

    Love these bookish quotes! Manguel is one of those authors on my ‘must get around to reading’ list.

  19. December 10, 2010 4:27 pm

    Wonderful quote and photo to go with it!

  20. December 12, 2010 6:55 am

    Love it!

Thank you for commenting! For a long while, my health precluded me replying to everyone. Yet I missed the conversation, so I'm now making an effort to reply again. It might take a few days though, and there will be times when I simply can't. Regardless, I always read and value what you say.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: