Your Well-Read Life


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 books beckons.

Chapter 2: Seizing More from Your Reading
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 Ears
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.
Expect to continuously improve and you will.