In earlier, blithe days, I’d simply allowed the contents of books to gather agreeably in my head as I read and then file out when I was done. Either I enjoyed a book or I didn’t. It was only by burrowing through books that I hated, books that provoked feelings of outrage and indignation, that I truly learned how to read. Defensiveness makes you a better reader, a closer, more skeptical reader: a critic. Arguing with the author in your head forces you to gather opposing evidence. You may find yourself turning to other texts with determination, stowing away facts, fighting against the book at hand. You may find yourself developing a point of view.