Virginia Woolf on Reading

Poems and novels, histories and memoirs, dictionaries and blue-books; books written in all languages by men and women of all tempers, races, and ages jostle each other on the shelf. And outside the donkey brays, the women gossip at the pump, the colts gallop across the fields. Where are we to begin?

How are we to bring order into this multitudinous chaos and so get the deepest and widest pleasure from what we read? 

«How Should One Read a Book?» by Virginia Woolf, 1932


We will begin this year with an insightful essay by English novelist, Virginia Woolf. The essay is entitled, «How Should One Read a Book?». It will be an excellent resource for beginning a conversation about the nature of reading and what kind of reading helps us become more human.

Here is the essay in PDF:

Essays by Virginia Woolf

The essay we will be talking about is the very last one in the document.

In addition to reading the essay, please bring a book that means a lot to you. It could be a book that has sparked your imagination, some poetry that has helped you through a dark time in your life or a book that has given has led you on numerous adventures.

We will meet on Friday night, March 2nd at 7:30 pm at the Cafetería La Biela in Plaza Francia in Recoleta (near the Cemetery de Recoleta). The address: Av. Pres. Manuel Quintana 596. We will wait in front of the café until 7:30. Then we will go in a find a table on the right side of the coffee shop.


If you plan to attend, please send us an email and let us know you’re coming! I’m looking forward to our time together!