By LAWRENCE FELLOWS
To read has many meanings, one of which is to get the drift of a message by interpreting written or printed words.
Its roots are in the Old English raedan, which was the word used for figuring out the mystic sense of runes scratched in the sand or on crude boards. The word riddle comes from the same roots. Even nowadays, half the handwriting you see is a riddle.
To peruse is to read thoroughly, to read with great care. You cannot peruse casually.
The best way to peruse a book is to settle down to it without distractions. It helps if you know you haven’t anywhere else to go.