Resolved: Be a Better Reader — A Book List
To celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas from now through Epiphany and to advocate for the idea of reading books to support New Year projects, resolutions, and goals, I’m writing a series of posts with themed book lists for various popular resolutions. So far…
Day 1: Be More Fit
Day 2: Be Happier
Day 3: Be a Better Cook
Day 4: Be Smarter about Money
Day 5: Be More Purposeful and Get Things Done
Day 6: Be More Creative
Today’s topic is reading. I woke up this morning to an email from Yesha Naik (Browse with Bookish Desi) pointing me to an article by Claire Fallon on The Huffington Post about setting Be a Better Reader as a resolution. She knows me too well! There are some great ideas there for reading goals to set, but that piece doesn’t mention books that can help you become a better reader. Here are some.
A classic choice is How to Read a Book by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren. I read it years ago. I remember being annoyed by the arrogant tone, but still incorporated some things I learned into the way I read. I suspect the tone would bother me less now, so I should probably try it again.
More fun are the books by the librarian Nancy Pearl (renowned for her NPR gig and as the model for the Librarian Action Figure). She doesn’t tell you how to read but gives you great ideas of what to read in Book Lust: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason. There’s a whole series of these books: More Book Lust, Book Crush (for kids and teens — and isn’t that the cutest title?), and Book Lust to Go (for armchair adventures).
The book I’m reading for the New Year’s Resolution Reading Challenge to support my resolution to Be a Better Reader is Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose. I’ve already started and have several pages marked with post-its peppered with notes of how I can apply what I’m learning to my writing and reading.
What books have helped you become a better reader?
If you’re reading books to improve your reading in the new year (or for other goals, projects, and resolutions), join us at The New Year’s Resolution Reading Challenge! Don’t forget that we’ll have a live Twitter Chat tonight to discuss our goals and books. That’s at 9PM Eastern / 8 Central / 7 Mountain / 6 Pacific / 5 Alaskan / 4 Hawaiian. The hashtag is #WSchat.
How fun Joy! Thanks for reminding me about the book list books, I’ve been meaning to get them for ages!
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I actually resolved this year to read less (http://manoflabook.com/wp/?p=10356). I feel as if I lost control of what I want to read by trying to please others.
I actually never thought of reading a book to help me become a better reader, but I think it’s a great idea! I think I want to be a more present reader. I want to really be present in the words on the page, not just reading to get through a book as quickly as I can. Sometimes I get caught up in trying to finish a book quickly to get on to the next.
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Hmm. I’d be interested to hear what you think of the Francine Prose book on Reading like a Writer. I dont have it but it seems interesting and like it would have some good tips.
I remember reading about the book How to be a Better Reader .. I think I checked it out from the library a few years ago but can’t remember. Sooo I am re-checking it out !! Maybe I’ll do a review on it this time!
We are a not-for-profit educational organization founded by Mortimer Adler and we have recently made an exciting discovery—three years after writing the wonderfully expanded third edition of How to Read a Book, Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren made a series of thirteen 14-minute videos—lively discussing the art of reading. The videos were produced by Encyclopaedia Britannica. For reasons unknown, sometime after their original publication, these videos were lost.
Three hours with Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren, lively discussing the art of reading, on one DVD. A must for all readers, libraries and classroom teaching the art of reading.
I cannot 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:
Max Weismann, Co-founder with Dr. Adler
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