Archive for the ‘Literature’ Category


8 Tips for Improving Your Reading Skills

Written on March 5, 2018 by Santiago Iñiguez in Literature

By Santiago Iñiguez de Onzoño, Executive President of IE University

1.How many books should we read per year? To a large degree, the answer depends on how quickly you read, your personal tastes, or how much effort you put into your reading. However, I’d say it’s a good idea to aim for a book per week, which is to say, around 50 each year. That said; when it comes to reading, quality is always more important than quantity. And, above all, you should enjoy the reading experience.

2.Should we finish every book we start? Traditionally, finishing a book has been seen as a duty, a task almost along Kantian lines, and in the case of literature courses, an academic obligation.

Furthermore, as experience often shows, persevering with a seemingly impenetrable book can have its rewards, as over time the author’s meaning and intentions begin to dawn on the reader. I will admit that I started and then dropped James Joyce’s Ulysses three times before mustering the required determination and time to finish it. And I must now say that my efforts have borne considerable fruit in the form of reflections and references to the book, ideas and associations that crop up in everyday life, as well as interesting ideas and topics to discuss with friends and colleagues.

That said, some people have argued that the best thing to do with a book we’re not enjoying is to stop reading it. British writer Tim Sparks suggests that life is too short for bad books and a few pages should be quite enough, for getting an impression of the author’s point and style.

On the other hand, I must say I believe that the endings of some of the most widely praised works in the literary canon are disappointing and could definitely be improved on.

3. Why do we drop books? It’s normally due to loss of interest or lack of time. A key question is whether our loss of interest is because we’re simply unable to concentrate. We live in an age of interruptions, when much of our time is taken with carrying out multiple tasks at the same time: checking emails, text messages, dealing with background noise, and the activities of those around us. The only way to enjoy reading and continue to cultivate yourself is to find premium time for reading, maybe over the weekend.

4.Is it recommendable to read several books in parallel? There are of course those enviable souls able to read several books at the same time. In my opinion, this is a practice dependent on how deep one wishes to delve into a book, as well as the level of our multi-tasking skills, and which requires the capacity to be able to shift attention from one undertaking to another without losing focus.

But the simple truth is that reading is one of those things that cannot be done in conjunction with another activity: it requires exclusive dedication if we are to fully enjoy and appreciate it; which is why so many people say they enjoy reading when traveling by plane, which is one of the few places where we are disconnected from the world and can enjoy our isolation.

5. Which is the ideal book format? Digital technology now expands our reading experience through e-books or audiobooks. I am a big fan of audiobooks, and listen to them while I travel or while I’m in the gym. And critics of audiobooks, who say the experience of listening cannot be compared to reading, should be reminded that in the many centuries prior to the invention of printing, and even for long afterwards, reading out aloud in groups was the norm.

Whether we read alone or are read to, as Mark Haddon, author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night points out, reading is “primarily a symptom. Of a healthy imagination, of our interest in this and other worlds, of our ability to be still and quiet, of our ability to dream during daylight.”

6. How can we enhance the reading experience? By sharing the experience with other people. It’s always a good idea to discuss with friends and family the books we are reading or have just read. Conversations about how books have impacted on us are not only entertaining, but increase our critical faculties and ability to put forward an argument.

When starting a book, we should set ourselves a time limit, which can always be extended if we decide to take a more leisurely approach. Setting time frames also obliges us to think about whether to drop a book that we’re not enjoying.

7.What genre or type of book should we read? My suggestion is that you try to read as many genres as possible. Fiction stimulates the imagination and may provide you with insights into the world and the behavior of others; poetry may stimulate your sense of the lyrical and augment your sensitivity, biographies and history may help you relate to people from other periods, seeing commonalities over the centuries that help you understand the world around us today.

And while I’m a fan of the classics, I believe we should also pay attention to contemporary works that might help us better understand the world around us, particularly those by writers from other cultures that can help connect us with people from worlds different to our own. Opening ourselves up in this way can provide us with insight into diversity, perhaps making us more tolerant of alternative worldviews than our own. In so doing, we increase our cosmopolitan sensibilities and our ability to operate as global citizens

8.Should we follow book recommendations? Recommendations from friends and colleagues are always welcome, but it’s a good idea not to allow others to exercise too much influence over what we read, and that we choose books that reflect our own criteria and preferences. Regularly check the best-seller lists, as well as reading the book reviews in the leading international newspapers. But also make time to browse the bookshops or specialist websites. Equally, there is nothing wrong with judging a book by its cover: if somebody has taken the trouble to come up with an attractive, eye-catching design, it is probably because the book itself has some merit.


El pasado martes 16 de mayo, IE Humanities Center cerró el ciclo de conferencias India, Present and Future con un interesantísimo coloquio titulado Visions: India from Without en el que participaron dos invitados de lujo: Javier Moro, autor de títulos como El sari rojo y El imperio eres tú, Premio Planeta en 2011 y John Elliott, periodista británico con más de 20 años de trabajo de campo en India, colaborador habitual en The economist, The Financial Times y Fotune. Autor del libro Implosion, India’s Tryst with Reality.

En el evento, en el que colaboró IE Editorial y fue moderado por Fernando Dameto, se trataron temas culturales, políticos y religiosos con el fin de acercar y arrojar luz sobre la realidad e idiosincrasia de la India.

IE Editorial pone a disposición del staff de IE, hasta el próximo 27 de mayo, ejemplares de los siguientes títulos de Javier Moro a un precio reducido. Los interesados pueden ponerse en contacto con Igor de la Horra o a través del correo:

El Sari Rojo: 9.50€
Pasión India: 8.50€
Era media noche en Bhopal: 8.50€



Written on March 29, 2017 by Fernando Dameto Zaforteza in Literature

One more year, on the occasion of the World Book Day we are hereby inviting you to take part on a very special event. This year we commemorate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the death of Isaac Asimov, an outstanding landmark in contemporary literature. Regarded as the father of science fiction and one of the greatest humanists in literature.

Representatives from various departments gathered together to organize it and we encourage you to enjoy this exclusive event with us, which will take place at the WOW Room in María de Molina 4 (with access from Pinar Street) next April the 21st. From 15:00 to 16:00.

The event has been divided into three parts: (1) an audio introduction, (2) continued reading of a short story written by Isaac Asimov by participants from different countries of the diverse IE community, (3) ending with a talk followed by a debate headed by Manuel Alonso Coto, our Digital Marketing Professor.

Through this e-mail we would like to invite you to take an active part on the reading of the short story, reading a text in English which we will previously send you, for a total of 20 seconds approx. With an average of 25 people, connected and reading in sync. at the WOW room. If you like to take part, you just have to send us an e-mail at your earliest convenience at, with your name, nationality and the program in which you are enrolled.

Places are limited and will be awarded by order of registration!!!. Sign up as soon as possible!!!. It is going to be a very special event!!!.

We look forward to count on you!!


The Meaning of Bob Dylan’s Silence

Written on October 27, 2016 by Administrador de IE Blogs in Literature, Music

26kirschWeb-master768In the summer of 1964, Bob Dylan released his fourth album, “Another Side of Bob Dylan,” which includes the track “It Ain’t Me Babe.” “Go ’way from my window/Leave at your own chosen speed,” it begins. “I’m not the one you want, babe/I’m not the one you need.”

That fall, the philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre played a variation on the same tune in a public statement explaining why, despite having been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, he would not accept it. “The writer,” he insisted, must “refuse to allow himself to be transformed into an institution, even if this occurs under the most honorable circumstances.” Mr. Dylan was talking to an imaginary lover, Sartre to an actual Swedish Academy, but the message was similar: If you love me for what I am, don’t make me be what I am not.

We don’t know whether Mr. Dylan was paying attention to l’affaire Sartre that fall 52 years ago. But now that he has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, he seems to be following in Sartre’s footsteps. Indeed, Mr. Dylan has done the philosopher one better: Instead of declining the prize, he has simply declined to acknowledge its existence. He hasn’t issued a statement or even returned the Swedish Academy’s phone calls. A reference to the award briefly popped up on the official Bob Dylan website and then was deleted — at his instruction or not, nobody knows. And the Swedes, who are used to a lot more gratitude from their laureates, appear to be losing their patience: One member of the Academy has called Mr. Dylan’s behavior “impolite and arrogant.”

There is a good deal of poetic justice in this turn of events. For almost a quarter of a century, ever since Toni Morrison won the Nobel in 1993, the Nobel committee acted as if American literature did not exist — and now an American is acting as if the Nobel committee doesn’t exist. Giving the award to Mr. Dylan was an insult to all the great American novelists and poets who are frequently proposed as candidates for the prize. The all-but-explicit message was that American literature, as traditionally defined, was simply not good enough. This is an absurd notion, but one that the Swedes have embraced: In 2008, the Academy’s permanent secretary, Horace Engdahl, declared that American writers “don’t really participate in the big dialogue of literature” and are limited by that “ignorance.”

Continue reading in The New York Times


“Dibugrafías” de José Félix Valdivieso y Miguel Panadero

Written on September 27, 2016 by Administrador de IE Blogs in Literature


El Director de Comunicación Jose Felíx Valdivieso y el pintor Miguel Panadero han lanzado el proyecto de crowdfunding para publicar el libro Dibugrafías. Lo habitual cuando se ilustra un texto es que al ilustrador le envíen el texto y de ahí haga la ilustración. Las 51 historias que componen Dibugrafías tienen la particularidad de no seguir ese método convencional, sino el contrario. Miguel enviaba a Jose Félix semanalmente un dibujo, una pregunta visual, para que le diese una respuesta escrita, una historia. Ahora  ‘Míster No’, ‘Los esperadores’, ‘El hombre sin cabeza’, ‘La mujer de las tres ventanas’, o algunas otras, esperan su respuesta.

Si desea leer un adelanto de tres de las 51 historias breves que componen el libro en este link  Si desea más información sobre cómo comprar el libro por adelantado pincha aquí.


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