Plot or Premise
Schwarz starts with a commentary by a Chinese scholar that some people are handicapped by reading too much, and not thinking enough about what they read. From there, she looks at the books she has read in her life and the role they have played. It is not a heavy analytical tone throughout, but rather a personal commentary on the books that have been important to her in her life, and the elements of her life that took place in and around books.
What I Liked
There are a number of sections that are quite well done, such as:
- Emptying your mind for meditation vs. filling it up during a life spent reading (pg. 14);
- On the un-importance of the authors vs. the impact of the words themselves (pg. 17);
- A life spent reading (pg. 96);
- Choices of reading material (pg. 107);
- Ruined by reading (pg. 114); and,
- On self (pg. 119).
What I Didn’t Like
Some of the sections could have benefited from a bit more analysis and historical context, not just the personal impact in her own life.