How to Pretend You’ve Read a Book

Photo by Kaleb Fulgham

We competence be during Peak TV now, though we’ve been during Peak Books for during slightest a century, and if we suffer reading, it’s physically unfit to examination any book we wish to, many reduction rubbish time with ones we don’t. What do we do if your book bar picks a dud, or your father insists we examination 300 pages that endorse his domestic views, or we have to give a Nobel lecture? You feign you’ve examination a book.

I consulted a experts on skimming books: edition attention professionals. While these people do examination distant some-more books than average, they have to get a flitting bargain of many more. And in many situations, that’s all you’re being asked to do. So don’t feel bad.

Learn a story

SparkNotes, CliffsNotes, and Shmoop have we lonesome on a classics, and you’d be astounded to learn what depends as a classic: Twilight, The Notebook, and The Da Vinci Code are all epitomised and analyzed for free.


Even if these sites have nothing, googling “SparkNotes” and your pretension competence spin adult a competitor. You competence have to chuck income during a problem; BookRags charges a large $20/month, and eNotes charges $50/year.

Wikipedia is terrible for book summaries. Start with a publisher outline on Amazon, that will report a initial act or two. Then examination a reviews on Goodreads. Do a ctrl-F for “…more” to flip by a longer ones. You’re not expected to find a minute tract outline, though we can cobble together some clarity of a direction.

Lastly, examination a commencement and finish of a book. According to one edition director, “Book editors mostly need to examination only a initial 20 pages of a book and a final page to weigh a whole book.” You competence feel a pang of bewail or anxiety; that’s only your brain’s craving for narrative. Don’t mistake it for a dignified qualm.

Steal an opinion

The many critical believe to feign isn’t a tract or a characters, it’s opinions. Whoever’s pressuring we to examination a book, we know what they wish we to consider of it. You only need to find someone with that opinion—or, if we wish to daunt this behavior, a conflicting opinion—and take it.


You’ll find your opinion in a Goodreads reviews, that are automatically sorted by “most interesting.” These tip reviews, no matter a starred rating, mostly embody positives and negatives.

For example, check out a page for a widely dear bad sci-fi novel Dune. Even five-star reviews acknowledge flaws like a sleepy “Chosen One” account or a singular happy impression being a soulless villain, and even two-star reviews acknowledge Herbert’s talented concepts and a book’s change on a genre. You can put your possess opinion anywhere along this spectrum.


For a refined, “official” opinion, generally on new books, try a trade review. Gabe Habash, novella reviews editor during Publishers Weekly, advises:

Trade reviews like Publishers Weekly and Kirkus are short, cover a categorical arena of a plot, embody impression names and a setting, and even give an opinion, that we can select to determine with or remonstrate with! And they have a combined advantage of entrance out customarily before a book itself has even been published, so we can be forward of a curve.

You’ll fundamentally find yourself similar with opinions you’re not competent to evaluate, since you’re on a internet, and that’s what it is for. In fact, a some-more conflicted your opinion, a some-more picturesque it will seem.

If that’s still too many work, Maris Kreizman, editorial executive of Book of a Month, has a good plan for personification this diversion on tough mode:


Find a one-star examination on Goodreads and learn it and afterwards hang to it no matter what.

“WAR IS PEACE. FREEDOM IS SLAVERY. IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH. 1984 is a many tedious book i have ever read!!”

Read a book a little

Reading a few pages of a book is essential for bargain a tone. Tone, like a season of an different dish, can’t be accurately conveyed by summary.

I got recommendation from an editor during Penguin Random House, who reviews hundreds of books any year for probable publication:



If we am reading a book, either it’s on acquiescence or for my book club, we am looking for a voice or language, plot, or atmosphere to pull me in.

And from there when we am a third or median by and comprehend that we am not as bending by a denunciation or tract (sometimes a voice wears on me after awhile), or emotionally invested in a characters’ arcs, afterwards my seductiveness starts to dump off.

I will acknowledge to skimming an whole thriller or psychological torment novel only to find out a ending, or infrequently I’ll flip forward to a final third or second half to see what happens.

Obviously there are contexts in that we unequivocally have to examination your reserved books; if we movement by your college assignments like we did, you’ll bewail it. But if someone final we examination a book simply for their personal pleasure, they’re bullying you, and by even sanctimonious to examination it we are already a Christ-like humanitarian. There is no singular book we have to examination cover-to-cover in sequence to be a good person, and there are copiousness that will make we a worse one. Save your time for a books we do wish to read. Or during slightest for some good TV.

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Posted by on Jun 20 2017. Filed under Gadgets. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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