How to Become a Better Reader

One of the most frequent questions I get is how to keep up with culture. My stock answer is to read voraciously. Then the follow-up comes: How can I become a better reader?

Borrowing a phrase from Thomas Jefferson, Susan Wise Bauer rightly maintains that any literate man or woman can become a reader. "All you need are a shelf full of books... and a few 'chasms of time not otherwise appropriated.'"

With the scent of a savvy, real-world reader, Bauer gives the following suggestions:

  • Morning is better than evening: Why fight the fatigue?
  • Start short. As with physical exercise, work your way into shape starting with no more than 30 minutes a day.
  • Don't schedule yourself for reading every day of the week. Aim for four days, giving yourself some days off for the inevitable interruptions of life.
  • Never check your email or social media right before you start reading. You know how it distracts the mind and commands your time.
  • Guard your reading time. Set it, keep it and protect it.
  • And take the first step now.

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