David Maine on How To Read a Book
David Maine was born in 1963 and grew up in Farmington, Connecticut. He attended Oberlin College and the University of Arizona and has worked in the mental-health systems of Massachusetts and Arizona. He has taught English in Morocco and Pakistan, and since 1998 has lived in Lahore, Pakistan, with his wife, novelist Uzma Aslam Khan.
Question: What’s the best way to read a book?
David Maine:Yeah, it very much depends. I mean I read a lot of pulp. I read fantasy, sci-fi stuff. I read Clive Cussler for God’s sake. I am not going to try to incorporate Clive Cuffner into my life, although maybe I should start. It really depends. You read a book like We Need To Talk About Kevin, by Lionel Shriver, and that gets into you and that stays whether you want it or not, or it did to me. I try to be open to...I mean I try to read without preconceptions, and I try to read with an open spirit. So if something affects me, good, it should. But I don’t...I try to let the story work for itself or act for itself. All of my books I just if people take the time to read them and to think about them and maybe it sparks some thought or some conversation or some debate. I mean, I think that’s all anybody can really hope for. I got this really nice email message one time from this guy who said he read my book about Samson, The Book of Samson, and he said, he didn’t like it. He was on the beach in Mexico on vacation and he read my book, he didn’t like it, but then his wife read it, and then they had this great conversation about it. I thought that's just perfect. That’s what I want. Kick it around over dinner or something and take what you can from it and that’s great.
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