Thursday 7 January 2021

The Reading Life by C.S. Lewis (1/52 Books in 52 Weeks)

Welcome to week one of 52 Books in 52 Weeks. To launch my year of reading I chose The Reading Life by C.S. Lewis. I spent many years avoiding CS Lewis books and a few years back as a family we listened to and read aloud the Narnia series by Mr Lewis and really enjoyed his writing.  I received this book for Christmas and the title really called to me when deciding which book to commence the challenge with and I am so pleased that I did read it.

 No Book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally (and often far more) worth reading at the age of fifty. ... The only imaginative works we ought to grow out of are those which it would have been better not to have read at all - C.S. Lewis The Reading Life.

The Reading Life


  • Format Paperback  
  • 192 pages 
  • Dimensions 129 x 198 x 15mm | 170g 
  • Publication date 15 Oct 2020 
  • Publisher HarperCollins Publishers 
  • Imprint William Collins 
  • Publication City/Country London, United Kingdom 
  • Language English 
  • ISBN10 0008307121 
  • ISBN13 9780008307127 

Every age has its own outlook. It is specially good at seeing certian truths and specially liable to make certain mistakes. We all, therefore, need the books that will correct the characteristic mistakes of our own period. And that means the old books.  - C.S. Lewis The Reading Life.

Available to purchase

From Book Depository

  •  "The revered teacher and bestselling author reflects on the power, importance, and joy of a life dedicated to reading books in this delightful collection drawn from his wide body of writings."
  • "Cultivated from his many essays, articles, and letters, as well as his classic works, The Reading Life provides guidance and reflections on the love and enjoyment of books. Engaging and enlightening, this well-rounded collection includes Lewis' reflections on science fiction, why children's literature is for readers of all ages, and why we should read two old books for every new one."

 The book is divided into two parts: On the Art and Joy of Reading (15 chapters) and Short Readings on Reading (37 chapters). The appendix contains Journal Exercises for Reflecting on Your Reading Life.

[A child] does not despise real woods because he has read of enchanted woods: the reading makes all reall woods a little enchanted - C.S. Lewis The Reading Life.

The Author

The greatest cause of verbicide is the fact that most people are obviously far more anxious to express their approval and disapproval of things than to describe them. - C.S. Lewis The Reading Life.

I'm so pleased I chose this book to commence my year of reading. It is a beautifully compiled book with thought provoking moments.  I loved the quotes which are enlarged throughout the book.  

I had two favourite chapters: Why Children's Stories are not Just for Children and How to Murder Words.  

I really enjoyed what C.S. Lewis had to say about Tolkien in  The Achievements of J.R.R. Tolkien.

This is a fabulous book and deserves a spot on any bookshelf.

What are you reading?


  1. Love the quotes! I've only read the Chronicles of Narnia so will have to check this one out. Sounds interesting.

  2. I have not read this book, although I have read some of the essays in this book elsewhere. I agree, the essays I have read are fabulous!

  3. I saw this book at Koorong earlier this year but we have a lot of CS Lewis and some of the chapters sounded familiar, which makes sense if it's taken from his writing in general. I did find a secondhand copy of Preparing for Easter; a lovely, almost new hardback for $3 so I snapped that up! Enjoy your reading year. X


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