by Pierre Bayard
Much as a mathematician can measure a splash, and without seeing the splash occur, can determine the size, weight and trajectory of the object that created it; one can know a book without reading it by observing the affect it has on society, listening to trusted opinions and probing its connection to other works. This is one of the best books I have read this year, and I don't say that lightly. Though heady with academic jargon and elaborate analytic references to obscure literature, the underlying message is wondrous and freeing for all readers. The terms "read" and "unread" are meaningless; one should speak of books in terms of Heard of, Skimmed, Forgotten, or Unknown.