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The Pleasure of Reading [Hardcover]

Antonia Fraser
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

3 Sep 1992
In this work 40 leading writers explain what first made them interested in reading. They describe the comics and childhood classics that first inspired them to read, and what today continues to do so. Contributors include Catherine Cookson, Jeanette Winterson, John Mortimer and Sue Townsend.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; First Edition edition (3 Sep 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747508135
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747508137
  • Product Dimensions: 26.6 x 19.2 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 201,186 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful 8 Nov 2007
By bebe
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
this is a beautiful book published to celebrate WHSmith's bicentenary in 1992. each contributor writes a short essay on their childhood experiences of reading and how those books helped them to become the writer they are today. there are some real treats in this book. when i first bought it i read it cover to cover and loved it. now i dip into it from time to time and inevitably end up reading more than just an entry or two. it is refreshing to read those entries by authors who were not voracious readers as children and only developed a love of literature later in life, but i love the ones that evoke memories of my own experiences of reading as a child - under the covers at night, spending hours in the library, reading everything and anything without any thought of a canon or classics. and this book makes a lovely gift - anyone who loves to read will love a book about reading.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reader's delight. 22 Feb 2007
By kehs TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Forty writers tell of their life long love of reading. We hear about their favorite books, childhood reading and what/who inspired them to read.

The illustrations are glorious pieces of book themed art, some of which I'd love to own to hang on my walls by my bookcases.

A fascinating read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A treasure trove of books, memories and musings 10 Jan 2009
It took me a long time to finish this, but it's a really nice book to dip into in between reading other things. It is a collection of short pieces by famous writers - maybe four or five pages each - reminiscing about their childhood reading, musing on the place books have in their lives, and discussing what they read nowadays. Some of the writers have added a 'top ten' list of their favourite books to the end of their pieces, and each author has been allocated an illustrator, giving a varied and colourful flavour to the pages.

With the exception of a couple of duds - including, to my surprise, Alan Hollinghurst - it's a lovely ensemble piece, bringing back memories of my own childhood reading: how I read, what I read and how different books floated into my life. I had to read it with a piece of paper and a pen next to me because there were so many books I wanted to chase up, old favourites and as yet unread masterpieces, having heard them praised so highly.

Although the book is quite old - the youngest author is Jeanette Winterson - I might get myself a copy (I read it from the library) because the themes and many of the books are so timeless and universal that they'll always ring true.
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