Creating Your Well-Read Life

Photo - Well Read Life cover.jpg

I love to read. I've been reading since I was two years old, and my love affair with reading has grown up with me. It's now an inherent part of who I am.

I want to read the classics, new fiction, creative non-fiction, self-improvement and so much more. My interests are so wide and varied, it's sometimes difficult to get my reading habit under control.

The best book I’ve found to get my reading organized is The Little Guide to Your Well-Read Life by Steve Leveen. (The subtitle is “How to get more books in your life and more life from your books.”)

This is an excellent resource whether you want more time to read, or you want to create your own reading list. It's full of great advice, but here are the two ideas that brought the most meaning to my reading life:

1. The 50-Page Rule

One of the most important things that helped my reading enjoyment is knowing when to give up on a book. Leveen suggests using a 50-page rule. This rule is “if you don’t like it after 50 pages, close the book and move on.”

This advice was welcomed and quite freeing. It gave me permission to say out loud, “I will never have a reading relationship with William Faulkner.” I discovered that he’s just not the right guy for me, and that's okay. So I moved on. Quickly. No looking back.

2. Borrow, Don’t Buy

Now I know this suggestion isn't for everyone—especially you Amazon addicts—but it makes perfect sense for me:  If you’re applying the 50-page rule wisely, borrow instead of buy.

First, it saves money. Why spend your money on something you may not even like?

Second, it saves time. If you don’t like a book, simply return it to the library and get a different one. This eliminates feeling obligated to read it just because you spent money on it. 

Third, it helps you decide if you like the book enough to buy it. I recently checked out The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. I liked it so much that I decided to add it to my personal library. When I bought it, I knew I would have no regrets.

Remember, folks, you have a national treasure at your fingertips:  your local library. Whether you like hard copy books or e-books or audio-books, your library is the perfect place to explore an amazing amount of options available to you. Libraries also have movies, television shows, music and more that are available for checkout. And it's free! (Well, not completely, but at least you know your tax dollars are being put to good use, right?)

Summer’s almost here, and now is the best time to get started on your reading list. You can help your children enjoy reading more by creating a list for them that they're excited about too.

Have fun with your well-read life, and let me know how it goes on my Facebook page.

Be #True, and have a Refreshing and Productive Day!