How to Read Literature Like a Professor: A Stepping Stone for Fuller Literary Engagment

Introduction

I can’t remember where I first heard about How to Read Literature Like a Professor, but it had been on my radar for a while. I think it might have been recommended by a high school teacher, but that was quite a few years ago now and I can’t be sure.

Review

For what it’s worth, I wish I’d read HTRLLAP back in high school. Though I was a good reader back then, I wasn’t at the level I am now, and the book would have been a great help in getting me to a more distinguished level of literary comprehension much sooner. That being said, I didn’t find it particularly helpful at this stage in my academic development.

I majored in English with a Writing Studies focus, so I have a lot of experience with reading for academic purposes. Add in the fact that reading is one of my favorite activities for pleasure as well, and you’re looking a rather large number of hours spent with books. Even before you add in the guidance of professors, someone who reads as much as I do is bound to pick up on some things.

Most of what Foster has to say is stuff that I’ve already internalized. Sometimes I even wish I could turn off (or at least turn down) my analytical approach to reading. If you’re a serious reader, you’ve probably already internalized a lot of what Foster has to say as well. Especially if you’re taking collegiate-level English courses. But, HTRLLAP is still worth thumbing through, since Foster covers a wide range of literary themes and devices.

You should definitely give HTRLLAP a go if you’re a reader who knows they could raise their analytical and critical reading skills. Or, if you’re not much of a reader but really want to do well in your college-level English course. You’re the perfect audience for the book, and you’ll probably find it extremely helpful.

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image from Goodreads.com
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