Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Guest Post: How to Read a Book

A Tale for the Time Being invites us to read in a slightly different way than many of us are used to.  Not only does the book alternate between two narrators, but when we read Nao’s diary, we’re reading it as annotated by Ruth, whose chapters are told from in the third-person voice.  It took me a while to realize that the footnotes in Nao’s diary are written as though they were written by the character Ruth, not the author Ruth.

If you’re interested in other approaches to reading, you may want to listen to the November 24, 2013, edition of the public radio show To the Best of Our Knowledge.  The Nov 24 show is all about “How to Read a Book.” Hearing Billy Collins’ read his poem “Reader,” immediately made me think of Tale.  There’s also an interview with an author who wrote a novel which features another novel written in the margins of the book, among other thought-provoking segments.

Beth Harper
Reference Librarian, Memorial Library

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