John Green kicks off the Crash Course Literature mini series with a reasonable set of questions. Why do we read? What's the point of reading critically. John will argue that reading is about effectively communicating with other people. Unlike a direct communication though, the writer has to communicate with a stranger, through time and space, with only "dry dead words on a page." So how's that going to work? Find out with Crash Course Literature! Also, readers are empowered during the open letter, so that's pretty cool.
The Reading List!
Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare: http://dft.ba/-shakespearerj
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald: http://dft.ba/-fitzgeraldgg
Catcher in the Rye: http://dft.ba/-catcher
Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson: http://dft.ba/-dickinson
Some of these are available from gutenberg.org as free ebooks. You should check that out.