Thursday, December 08, 2005

Little Guide to Your Well-Read Life by Steve Leveen

Steve Leveen is an advocate for reading. In The Little Guide to Your Well-Read Life, he suggests ways to help people find more time to read and get more out of their efforts. He advocates creating a list of candidate books for reading, having at least one "to read" shelf full of books, writing in the books while reading (obviously not library books!), keeping a shelf of "just finished" books for reviewing and giving to friends, and writing a journal full of thoughts and quotations from the books. He says that it is more effort to read this way, but the reader will remember more long after finishing the books; retention is the reason for reading he contends; anything less is killing time.

The author is somewhat practical. He says that no one should ever read a book just to please someone else. He recommends skipping introductions, which are better understood after reading the text. He also champions dropping books quickly if they do not entertain or inspire. Life is too short to finish inferior books. There are too many better books still waiting. He also suggests that if you are finishing every book, you are being too conservative in your choices or a slave to convention.

The author also includes chapters on listening to audiobooks and on joining book discussion groups. Both are full of his advice and quotes from experts that he interviewed.

I liked how he emphasized that people become better readers as they age. We should reread classics and other books we enjoyed in our youth because we will bring much more to a second or third reading.

The Little Guide to Your Well-Read Life will appeal to people who like to plan and write, as well as read.

Leveen, Steve. The Little Guide to Your Well-Read Life: How to Get More Books in Your Life and More Life from Your Books. Delray Beach, Florida: Levenger Press, 2005. ISBN 1929154178

1 comment:

Shirley said...

I have a 50 page limit. If a book hasn't somehow intrigued me within that page frame, I give up on it.

Your review of this book intrigues me....I will suggest it to our selector.