How to Read Literature : Your Guide to Summer Reading

Attention students who have gotten their summer reading assignments and probably haven’t thought about cracking them open yet, read this first.

In How to Read Literature, Terry Eagleton helps readers deepen their experience by asking seemingly obvious questions, and pointing out which questions we don’t ask of the books we read. Many readers are seduced into relating to characters and stories as if they are real. Eagleton teaches readers to understand the “literariness” of the story as well, giving them access to underlying layers of meaning.

In the book’s five chapters, openings, character, narrative, interpretation and value, Eagleton identifies five major elements experience that illuminate the meaning behind the formal techniques of literary works.


While one might think that a book that looks deeply into literary form requires prior knowledge, or a professor to explain the nuances, How to Read Literature needs no how to manual. Eagleton’s amusing voice carries you through the book, using examples from Shakespeare and Henry James side by side with examples from Harry Potter.

This friendly and authoritative guide will re-teach you how to read. Now get started on that summer assignment!

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