"Genius is in-born, may it never be still-born."

"Oysters, irritated by grains of sand, give birth to pearls. Brains, irritated by curiosity, give birth to ideas."

"Brainpower is the bridge to the future; it is what transports you from wishful thinking to willful doing."

"Unless you keep learning & growing, the status quo has no status."

Thursday, March 5, 2009


I am really glad that I have picked up a lot of wonderful gems from Steve Leveen's book, 'The Little Guide to Your Well-Read Life'.

Steve Leveen is the CEO of Levenger, the company known to many for its catalogue of 'tools for serious readers'.

In the book, he shares with readers the true power of reading: its ability to help us live richer lives.

According to him, a well-read life has little to do with reading the classics, or with how many books or even which books you read. Rather, he emphasises that it has everything to do with a life well-lived.

Being well-read is all about being in book love today, tomorrow, next week & always. I like that distinction very much.

He offers the following guidelines:

1) Read with yourself in mind: Actively choose your favourite books, or select out the best books to fill your interests, passions & desires;

2) Draw up a List of Candidates rather than a reading list;

(According to him, there's a difference:A reading list carries a sense of obligation, like those lists we were assigned as students. A List of Candidates carries this important difference: you have the freedom of never having to read the book.)

3) From your List of Candidates, create a physical Library of Candidates of books you may decide to read, e.g. Biography, etc.;

4) Draw up a Bookography, which is a list of books you have already read, & so they become sort of a diary of your reading life;

5) Be an active reader, by feeling free to write your own thoughts & comments in the margins or to make marginal annotations - he calls this reading endeavour, being a Footprint Leaver, & I am one too, whenever I read;

[Here's a link to a brief article from Levenger about 'How to Leave Masterly Marginalia'.]

6) Don't rush to put back a completed book on to the shelf after reading - review it in a day, a week, or a month;

[In my case, I write about the books I have enjoyed reading in my weblog or on Amazon.]

7) Give yourself permission to read your way;

8) Don't be afraid to give up on a book if you find that it doesn't speak to your interests;

9) Don't be afraid to experiment with reading more than one book at a time;

[Educator & philosopher Mortimer Adler called it 'syntopical reading' in his classic, 'How to Read a Book'.]

10) Explore audio books - the author calls it 'reading with your ears';

[Master motivator Zig Ziglar calls it 'Automobile University'.]

11) Form reading groups;

12) Draw up a 'For When I Go There', which is a list of books about special places you want to visit, saved to be read when you are finally there - this is certainly an interesting suggestion from the author;

[Extracted from the 'Optimum Performance Technologies' weblog.]

1 comment:

Max Weismann said...

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Three hours with Mortimer Adler on one DVD.

For those of you who teach, this is great for the classroom.

I cannot over exaggerate how instructive these programs are--we are so sure that you will agree, if you are not completely satisfied, we will refund your donation.

Please go here to see a clip and learn more: