Literary Taste: How to Form It

Read by Timothy Ferguson

(4.3 stars; 14 reviews)

Arnold Bennett describes a method for enjoying literature, and suggests the contents of a comprehensive library. Chapters 1-10 and 14 describe his method for learning to enjoy literature. Chapters 11, 12, and 13 contain detailed lists of the 337 volumes required to complete a comprehensive library of English works. This reading is from the 1913 version at Project Gutenberg, and so does not contain the revisions made by Swinnerton for the 1939 edition, which included authors of the early Twentieth Century. Swinnerton's revisions are available from Wikipedia. (Summary by Timothy Ferguson) (3 hr 0 min)


01- The Aim 10:18 Read by Timothy Ferguson
02 - Your Particular Case 9:56 Read by Timothy Ferguson
03 - Why a Classic is a Classic 9:15 Read by Timothy Ferguson
04 - Where to Begin 11:06 Read by Timothy Ferguson
05 - How to Read a Classic 11:22 Read by Timothy Ferguson
06 - The Question of Syle 18:41 Read by Timothy Ferguson
07 - Wrestling with an Author 12:00 Read by Timothy Ferguson
08 - System in Reading 9:46 Read by Timothy Ferguson
09 - Verse 19:09 Read by Timothy Ferguson
10 - Broad Counsels 9:14 Read by Timothy Ferguson
11 - An English Library: Period I 11:14 Read by Timothy Ferguson
12 - An English Library: Period II 8:23 Read by Timothy Ferguson
13 - An English Library: Period III 19:42 Read by Timothy Ferguson
14 - Mental Stocktaking 20:46 Read by Timothy Ferguson


An Excellent book

(5 stars)

This book was put on our book club list and so I listened to it out of duty, not expecting much at all. I was amazed and very, very pleased. The author of this book has a facility with English that made me smile many, many times. His insights on the entire 'literary' world were enlightening and very encouraging to someone like me, who really does need some taste! This book will be listened to by me again very soon. Really, try it. It is great and I've listened to 1250+ books in the past 14 years so I am not easily impressed.

Great Book

(5 stars)

Timothy Ferguson does an excellent job of reading the entire book, but after his alternately humorous and chiding reading of this chapter, I have embarked to take the cure and downloaded William Hazlitt's essay "On Poetry in General" to get me started on a path to reading (and enjoying) poetry without fear. I second Phil and highly recommend this book. Whether you want to read more, or have read much, Bennett will get you thinking about why and what you read and, should you take his suggestions to heart, will invariably help you to become a better reader.

Admirable Literary Redirection

(4 stars)

I cannot approve of some of the books that Bennett recommends. This is why my star count amounts to just four. While I would not say that Literary Taste is a ‘must-read,’ I will say that it is a ‘should-read.’ This reading is made easy through the audio medium, and Timothy Ferguson, the excellent orator.

great book

(4.5 stars)

I recommend this book for you all especially that Mr. ferguson was really great and captured the soul of the book very well , thank you


(3.5 stars)

Good advice if you can overlook the pontificating manner in which it is delivered. The reader does a very good job too.

Don't be put off by the title

(5 stars)

TheBookworm (Manchester, UK)