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A Typology of Book-Reading – Part I: Modes of Concentration

In the first part of this article series, I identify fourteen different types of book, which I classify by their required mode of concentration; whilst also providing examples and photographic samples to support the description of each type.

So many types of book—but what are the types of reading?


Over the course of the years during which I have been reading books regularly, a particular categorization of book-types naturally formed in my mind. Specifically, it is based on the distinct kinds of concentration I found to be demanded by different books. These different kinds of concentration can be thought of as different modes of reading; and the classification of them in this sense may be useful for a regular reader of books to consider and refer to, towards a more conscious and informed practise of book-reading.

The fourteen book-types I have identified, termed, and will classify here are the Technical, Referential, Deep, Philosophical, Harrowing, Dissonant, Illustrated, Voluminous, Benign, Conversational, Narrational, Allegorical, Anthological, Pictorial.

Continue reading “A Typology of Book-Reading – Part I: Modes of Concentration”