Chapter 1: Uncovering the Books That
Will Change Your Life
Your candidates become the curriculum of your
own lifelong learning that can lead you to a far
richer life. As the saying goes, if you don't know where you're going, any
direction will do. When you do begin to plan your reading life, not
just any book will do. Life is too short, and your list of good
Chapter 2: Seizing More from Your
A few years ago I gave up on
Crime and Punishment.
I found it not enough crime and too much punishment. I went beyond
fifty pages. In fact, I went about two-thirds of the way
through before I finally surrendered and accepted that one person's
masterpiece may be another's misery. Now I give up on books
at any point. I'm (mostly) over the clean-your-plate syndrome.
Chapter 3: Reading with Your
In 1993 I was reborn as a reader.
It happened when I listened to my first audiobook. Once I learned
of the wide variety of unabridged audiobooks available, my
reading life changed forever.
Chapter 4: Sharing the Fellowship of Books
Whether to participate in a
book group raises the age-old pros and cons of group
involvement. You give up a bit of your personal freedom in
exchange for the insights that can be gained from discussion.
To the extent that you read to expand your knowledge of the
world and people, group participation may be well worth the
trade-off. The legendary reader Samuel Johnson said, "Books
without the knowledge of life are useless, for what should
books teach but the art of living?" Just as exercise classes
can push you beyond your normal range of exertion, reading
groups can push you beyond your normal insights.
Chapter 5: A Life Uplifted
I hope you don't close a good book for good when you first
finish it. Open it the next day and review what you just learned,
even if there seems no need to do so. The fruits of memory grow in
your brain the way a tree grows from daily watering, even before it
seems to need water. Pick up your finished book a few more times, at
longer intervals, and your miraculous mind will retain those
particular fruits of memory ever after. Store these books in your
Living Library where they can keep you company.
As an attorney practices law or a physician
medicine, think of yourself as practicing reading.
to continuously improve and you will.