'Close reading' is the most essential skill that literature students continue to develop across the full length of their studies. This book is the ideal guide to the practice, providing a methodology that can be used for poetry, novels, drama, and beyond. Using classic works of literature, such as 'Hamlet' and 'The Great Gatsby' as case studies, David Greenham presents a unique, contextual approach to close reading, while addressing key questions such as: What is close reading? What is the importance of the relationships between words? How can close reading enhance reading pleasure? Is there a method of close reading that works for all literary genres? How can close reading unlock complexity? How does the practice of close reading relate to other theoretical and critical approaches? 'Close Reading: The Basics' is formulated to bring together reading pleasure and analytic techniques that will engage the student of literature and enhance their reading experience.