Artful reading - the way we read novels and short stories - is less about reading for specific information and more about reading to revel in the literary experience. Learning the skills and techniques of artful reading can improve your life in many ways, whether you're a fiction reader, an aspiring writer, a book club member, or a student. And the best part: These skills are not difficult or unwieldy; rather, they are well within your reach. This entertaining, 24-lecture course gives you a veritable toolbox of knowledge and methods to approach even the most daunting reading experience with increased confidence. You'll learn the definitions and characteristics of terms such as authorship, master plot, and genre. While some of these nuts-and-bolts concepts may be familiar to you, Professor Spurgin examines them from multiple angles, revealing hidden meanings that can escape even experienced readers. Practical tips and techniques will maximize your effectiveness as an artful reader. You'll see why holding an initial reading session will acquaint you with the author's writing style and the characters, making the book easy to return to even if you take a few days off. You'll also discover the benefits of "pre-reading" - exploring a book's organization and structure - and how to constantly ask questions to become more deeply involved with the characters and their stories. Throughout the course, a host of literary "case studies" will refine and elaborate on the concepts of artful reading. Literary examples show how you can finally approach works that, in the past, might have seemed intimidating - making your future reading experiences both more engaging and more enlightening.