Thomas Foster’s insightful guide on reading between the lines
Before reading this book I was of the opinion that the only books you should read front-to-back, all the way through, without thinking too much, were stories and novels, and most works of fiction; all other books — poetry, philosophy, science, history, instructional, etc — are written in such a way that you can dip in and out, read only certain chapters and, usually, more thought is required on your part as a reader.
I’m not a big fiction reader; most of the books I read are biographies, science, philosophy and poetry, but I picked this up in hope that it would reignite a former love for the fascinating world of tales, stories and fantasy — and it has.
The way you think about reading will not be the same after reading this book. Very much like Mortimer Adler’s fantastic “How To Read A Book,” this book will teach you to better understand what is being said by the Author, why, and what it means; through countless examples of “reading between the lines” (many of which, unless you’re a well-read American, you may not recognise — but it really doesn’t matter) Foster guides you, step-by-step, to observe patterns, find hidden meaning and, ultimately, get a ton more out of your reading.
The compelling narrative — the cogent, persuasive, silky and prosaic style of delivery — makes this a throughly enjoyable read and one I’ll definitely return to in the future — if not for the lessons, then for the references; if not for the references then for the admirable style in which it’s written.