Your Well-Read Life

Your Well-Read Life

The Book That Will Change the
Way People Read For Life

The promise is beguilingly simple: what if people could find more time to read?

In The Little Guide to Your Well-Read Life: How to get more books in your life and more life from your books (Levenger Press, hardcover, $17.50), author Steve Leveen mixes practical advice with inspiring examples on how to live a life made richer through reading what you want.

Achieving this takes a new—and freer—way of thinking about how books fit into readers' lives. Steve's advice:

"Do not set out to live a well-read life but rather your well-read life. No one can be well-read using someone else's reading list. Unless a book is good for you, you won't connect with it and gain from it. Just as no one can tell you how to lead your life, no one can tell you what to read for your life."

He then guides readers through various steps they can take, such as these two:

· Read with something larger in mind: yourself. Rather than chasing down book titles on a to-read list, Steve recommends drawing up a List of Candidates based on personal interests and passions. Readers gain a vested interest in books that are chosen this way.

· Give yourself permission to read your way. Why is it so hard for readers to give up on books they don't enjoy? Why do many people resist writing in their books? Steve suggests ways to free yourself of old reading hang-ups.

Part of the appeal of The Little Guide is that the reader's odyssey is also the author's: Steve found himself yearning for a fuller life a few years ago and so began this quest. Written with a light touch and in a lyrical tone, The Little Guide offers a pithy survey course on reading guides, a debunking analysis of speed reading, and an evaluation of reading groups that may turn skeptics into joiners (which was precisely the author's experience).

Readers learn such time-saving techniques as how to get a reading on a book before they actually read it, and are encouraged to conduct an Après-Reading review of their books to help retain more of what they've just read.

Steve also brings audiobooks out from beneath the shadow of printed books and shows the many ways that audiobooks are superior. They are what changed Steve into a true reader.

A short book with a lifelong message, The Little Guide to Your Well-Read Life advises but never admonishes. In fact, Steve's definition of well-read has nothing to do with specific books a person should read. Rather, he says:

"I have come to believe that living your well-read life is measured not by the number of books read at the end of your life but by whether you are in book love today, tomorrow, and next week."

The more you take from your reading, the more you bring to your life. One leaves The Little Guide ready for that sweet surrender to book love, wanting more from books and from life—and now well-versed in how to get it.

About the Author

The gentle irony of this first book of Steve Leveen's is that he is the co-founder and CEO of Levenger, known for its catalog of "tools for serious readers." Yet only recently has he considered himself such a reader. The Little Guide is the keystone in a three-year national campaign that Steve is undertaking to help other readers yearning for ways to awaken to their well-read lives.

The Little Guide to Your Well Read Life: 132 pp., bibliography and index, illustrated.