The Book That Will Change the
Way People Read For Life
The promise is beguilingly simple: what if people could find more time to
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.
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
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
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
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.
Guide to Your Well Read Life: 132 pp., bibliography and