Review of The Little Guide to Your Well-Read Life, by Steve Leveen

The Little Guide to Your Well-Read Life

How to get more books in your life and more life from your books.

by Steve Leveen

Levenger Press, 2005. 123 pages.

This book is a celebration of reading. Steve Leveen talks about how to get more books into your life, with ideas like making a personal lifetime reading list, listening to audiobooks, and sharing books with others in book clubs. As an avid reader myself, most of his ideas were not new to me, but I did enjoy reading the ideas of another book lover for savoring books.

Some of his writing is a celebration of the reading life:

“Book love is something like romantic love. When we are reading a really great book, burdens feel lighter, cares seem smaller, and commonplaces are suddenly delightful. You become your best optimistic self. Like romantic love, book love fills you with a certain warmth and completeness. The world holds promise. The atmosphere is clearer and brighter; a beckoning wind blows your hair.

“But while romantic love can be fleeting, book love can last. Readers in book love become more skilled at choosing books that thrill them, move them, transport them. Success breeds success, as these lucky people learn how to find diamonds over and over. They are always reading a good book. They are curious, interested — and usually interesting — people.”

I especially like his conclusion:

“On the first page of this little guide, I suggested that I could help you find more time to read. I hope that by employing some of the ideas in this little book and others you discover, you’ll fall deeply in book love — not once but perpetually. Then you will not have to worry about finding the time to read; that time will come to you. You will naturally do some things less as you read more. What those things will be is obviously your decision.

“Finally, I hope you read some books for no reason other than pure enjoyment. Let a fine story grab hold of you, let yourself be embraced in this uniquely human pleasure with sweet abandon. As you collect books for learning, also collect books that make you laugh and cry and shudder and forget the real world completely. It is good for us in more ways than we know.”

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