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January 05, 2009


Mary Brown

About #4: I'm a big fan of audiobooks myself, but some people are very skeptical about them. To those people I always recommend the Harry Potter series. These books are so delightfully narrated by Jim Dale that after just a short while it's hard to understand how you could possibly have ever envisioned these characters without Dale's clever voices.

Julio del Solar

Great article. I will try all ten.
Thank you for sharing!



I can't recommend enough stopping by your local independent bookstore; the employees at these stores are knowledgeable and eager to share book ideas with you. They want to build a relationship with their customers and encourage their reading habits. I find that by wandering around an independent bookstore I find all kinds of jewels that aren't being hyped by big publishers (nothing against that, those are good books also) that I would have missed but for booksellers promoting quality literature.

Fred Putnam

Dear Steve,

Thanks for your suggestions. A teenage friend of ours just told me that she plans to read all of Shakespeare this year--one play a week!

I have often found it helpful to work through one or two authors, reading as many of his or her works as I can. Last year's were Evelyn Waugh and James Schall, this year will be Josef Pieper and perhaps Shakespeare, as well as the many others that come my way.

I will also be announcing a "reading circle" at the university where I teach. Reading and discussing with students is a great encouragement!

Thanks again.

Best wishes.

Fred Putnam

Anne McGravie

I'm not sure I could ever get used to a book that isn't in the traditional format; at the moment I have too many traditional books to read or reread and then dispose of to worry. I did appreciate your mention of the library, however. Someday too it will go digital, I'm sure, but in the meantime there are all those lovely stacks filled with lovely books ready for the borrowing.
To books!
Anne McGravie


I'm not sure I will ever choose a digitalized book over a traditional one. What do you hold? (A machine?) How do you turn a page? (Press a button?) What do you call a certain type of book? (A button presser?) I know, I know: Get used to it!
If I had my way, children would begin to learn to read using a cloth book with a letter of the alphabet and its accompanying picture on each page. Now that's how to get the feel for letters and eventually for whole books. Only half-joking.
I grew up in Edinburgh (Scot.) in the '20s and '30s, a city noted then for its fine second-hand bookshops. All through school and beyond, I bought my books in these shops for a penny, tuppence. Now those were the days for book lovers.
To books. the spine of a civilization!
Anne McGravie


Just thought I'd mention that I've been a member of Audible for 3-4 years now and I think it is great - just wish some of my favorite authors were available there. We have two main libraries at home - fiction and non-fiction (also my office, as I work from home) but even though I've tried to organize our books and have some lists available, I am in the second phase of buying repeat books. As my filing system is even worse, right now, I'm having trouble even finding out where I've even bought some of these books.
New years resolution - Organize! And lose weight.


How about volunteering with a literacy organization? Once a week, on my lunch hour, I go to a school near my office (with the company's blessings) and work with grade six kids who are having problems with reading. We read a piece, and then discuss it. They may not have the reading skills I did at that point in my life (I was reading at an upper-high school level by then), but they ask great questions, and they seem to appreciate having an adult paying focused attention to them, answering their questions seriously.

(And I love my Sony Reader. Plus, my library has digital downloads of books, both PDF and audio, so I have free books for my Reader and my MP3 player.)


Gee, maybe I should cancel my order for bookcases and put everything on electronics---

Any comment on this attitude?



Your comments ring true for me in every aspect. But my favorite is using the Kindle, which I have done for the last year. I can read several books at one time, carrying only the Kindle. Also, my mom suffers from macular degeneration, which makes reading physically difficult, a great loss to her. With the font enlargement feature on the Kindle, she can now read again, considering it one of her greatest Christmas gifts.

Gordon from North Carolina

Thanks for your blog.

Every morning my father read the Bible daily out loud in English and in Portuguese (learned for his professional life as a missionary pastor in Brazil). (He also read Louis L'Amour books constantly!) It was always a pleasure to "listen in" on him and his prayers from the other room.


A friend told me about an author named Noah St. John who invented AFFORMATIONS. Afformations are empowering questions (not statements) and they've really worked great for me and my friends.

http://www.iAfform.com - he's giving a free Afformation Stress Buster Session. I listen to these throughout the day and they've changed my life.

Enjoy them!
- Donna


I have been listening to books from Audible for many years and love to do so in my car. I recently discovered eReader for my iPhone and LOVE being able to take eBooks with me wherever I take my iPhone. I don't think I'll ever give up "real" books completely, but it is wonderful to have options. I'm waiting for a backlit Kindle before I buy one. I read too much in bed and booklights bother my husband. I love your blog and Levenger.

Happy New Year!

Steve Leveen

Dear Well-Read Lifers,

Bless you for your interesting and helpful comments, all. As for Lynn Buchanan's question as to whether we should just go all digital... I believe all things digital relating to books, libraries and learning will become ever more compelling. We will love our book devices they way people now love their iPhones. Yet old-fashioned paper books will decline only gradually and gracefully. After all, we still enjoy candles today, more than a century after Edison found a better way.

And isn't life richer (if a bit more tiring) with both electric light and candle light?

Happy New Year to you all and I look forward to an engaging dialog in 02009.


Ted Kinzer


Enjoyed your post. You provide some great ideas to increase reading time.

On using the library, I would add that many libraries make use of a system e.g. Link+ where you can request books from many other libraries. This service allows someone to find books that you normally would have to borrow or buy without 'trying' them out first.


David Hollis

Resolution is to read two books per month. One fiction; one non. Have them assembled on the shelf above my desk.


Book reading is necessary for the today condition. By reading books you can improve your knowledge and vocab. You can download many books from the internet electronically and share with your friends.

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