How to Read Literature Like a Professor


In his relatively short and very readable How to Read Literature Like a Professor, Thomas C. Foster seeks to teach readers how to “unlock” literature. I think I would have benefitted a great deal from a professor like Foster. I have learned how to read deeply with years of practice, which is what he says one needs, but the journey might have been easier if I’d had this book along.

Foster’s writing style is witty and engaging. The title of this book might scream dry, boring, and difficult, but it’s exactly the opposite. In fact, it is one of the more accessible books about reading literature that I’ve read. It may be the only accessible book about reading literature that I’ve read, for that matter.

How to Read Literature Like a Professor comes complete with a list of recommended reading in the appendix. In fact, I plan to read as many of his recommendations as possible, since his use of these works as examples has me itching to try out my new skills. It is constructed in such a way that the reader can dash off a chapter here and there without much of a time commitment. Most of all, there is confirmation that I’m doing something right in the classroom, and I plan to use some of his arguments when my own students insist I am manufacturing symbols where they don’t exist. I recommend this book highly if you are looking to expand your enjoyment of literature or if you just want to learn a little bit about more about great works of literature.


3 thoughts on “How to Read Literature Like a Professor

  1. *scribbles note to self to check into that book* And I swear, I'm really not trying to spam your comments tonight. 🙂 You know me, trying to catch up in one fell swoop.

    Erm, what's a fell swoop?

  2. I ran across this book some time ago, but have yet to buy it. I really want it now! Thanks!

    (Your website is SO informative!)

  3. I also found this book to by extraordinary to learn from. Unfortunately, I lent it out to another teacher, so I can't access the book list! I'm thinking about buying a second copy for my classroom. How many of your recent reads are from the list?

Comments are closed.