This article examines a series of popular books about how to read that appeared in the first decade of the twenty-first century. It critiques these books for placing acts of reading into an impossibly utopian time, for imagining readers as translucently susceptible to instruction in reading, and for imagining reading as pure. As an antidote to this decade of advice, the article argues for (and demonstrates) an “impure” reading of visual-material texts that demand a reader's tactile engagement and self-aware participation in time.

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