Monday, October 11, 2010

Topic: Finding Time To Read

10-second review: Two ideas changed my reading habits. Of course, I learned them from books.

Summary: The first idea came from an essay written by a Louis Shores, a librarian, in a book entitled The Wonderful World of Books. In the essay, the author shows that if people read fifteen minutes a day they will read 4,500 words a day, 31,500 words a week, 126,000 words a month, and 1,512,000 words a year or about 20 books a year. I knew that most people can find fifteen minutes to read some time during the day—if they have a reason to read.

The key is to find some rewarding reason for reading books. I found the answer to that question when reading an essay by Francis Bacon published in 1625, entitled “Of Studies.” In the essay, he says that “some books are to be tasted, or read only in parts.” “Some books are to be swallowed whole,” for example “chick lit,” westerns, and mysteries, that can be read like the wind—fast plot and fast read. And some few books need to be read carefully and slowly, digesting every detail, probably most textbooks.

It was the statement that some books are to be “tasted” that I suddenly realized every book does not have to be read from beginning to end, from first word to last. I always assumed that I needed to finish every book I started and that I needed to spend as much time reading as the author spent in writing the book. The result was that I started many a book and finished very few. However, it took an experience in graduate school to demonstrate to me emotionally what “tasting” books meant.

That’s the topic of my next blog. RayS.

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