Blog Archives

How to Read: Part 1 – Meet the Trivium

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series How to Read

Yes, of course I know you know how to read. If you are looking at this at all, you’ve already proven you are literate. But there is reading, and there is reading. I’m talking about the latter. “Some books are to be tasted, … Continue reading

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How to Read: Part 2 – The Grammar Stage

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series How to Read

The Grammar Stage: This is your first pass through a book. Other than a few extra steps, this probably looks pretty close to what you usually do when you read a book. Step 1: Look at the title, cover, and table … Continue reading

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How to Read: Part 3 – The Logic Stage

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series How to Read

The Logic Stage If, during the Grammar level of reading, you were asking “What happened? Who did it happen to? What was this story about?”—you must now ask “How was it done?” Your job is to separate story from plot, character from characterization. Instead … Continue reading

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How to Read: Part 4 – The Rhetoric Stage

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series How to Read

Rhetoric is the third part of the trivium, and it is basically the art of persuasion. In his introduction Write Like the Masters, William Cane writes: [Rhetoric is] much more than verbal volleyball and pontificating propagandism. Rhetoric also encompasses methods of being felicitous … Continue reading

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How to Read: Part 5 – John Updike’s 6 Rules for Constructive Criticism

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series How to Read

One of the wonderful things about the Internet is that it has created a democracy of the masses. Anyone with an Amazon or a GoodReads account can be a book reviewer with the ability to influence a huge audience. Opinions about literature are … Continue reading

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