How to Read

The Constructive Curmudgeon had a list of twelve suggestions on how to read.

I love to read and I thought the ideas were interesting. But I didn’t agree. And you know, since I’m so quiet and shy, I couldn’t just leave it at that. I started a comment, but it grew so long, that I knew I needed to move it over here.

As a bookaholic, I love number 1. Read and read often.

#2, though, quit watching TV, I thought was unnecessary. I read a few books a week, besides the romance novels we aren’t discussing here since this is for highbrows…. I still like to watch TV. I don’t watch a lot, but I do watch three hours a week, but Tivo’ed so I can skip boring commercials, so it comes out to less than that.

#3 Take notes in and on your book. That one I’m not sure about. I used to. I still do occasionally, but now I am much more likely to put an outline and notes of good pages in a notebook or on my computer. (Mostly on the computer.)

I totally agree with 4 and 5.

#6 is never get rid of a book. I think that if you have number six on your list, you do not read tons of books. I have about 5000 books in the house. And I’ve given away about twice that many. My brother has so many that he has an entire room filled with boxes of books he doesn’t like because he doesn’t want to get rid of them.

I think that reference books and books with good in depth stuff are good to keep, even if I don’t really re-read them on a regular basis. At least I still have them for when I need them. And I do keep two copies of books that I think are wonderful, so that I can loan them out without fearing the total decimation of my library. (I lost a few books that way that I haven’t been able to replace.)


Read and reread old books. Don’t be taken captive by fashion. Savor the classics.

I’m an English teacher and one of the reasons the classics are classics is because they are tragedies. I figure once is enough unless I am teaching them. I personally don’t need that much depression in my life.

Perhaps he was speaking of Christian classics. That’s a whole different story. Those are worth perusing, studying, and re-reading.

#8 is a point most readers know. But if you don’t read a lot and want to learn how to read good books, this is the rule for you.

#9 Read in silence. My husband and sons will tell you that if I am reading it is silent. Because I don’t hear a word or a thing that anyone says. I just shut out the whole world. This comes from growing up in a big family and sharing a bedroom. There never was any place to get away from it all.

#10 is rude, in my opinion. I don’t mind learning new words. I don’t mind using them. But I think that dropping them in conversations with people you know won’t know them is a tad aggravating. Now if you have a friend who also likes to learn new words, that would be different. No one is going to want to talk to you if they can’t understand what you’re saying because of the vocabulary.

#11, absolutely! Do it all the time. Take my friends. Do that for dates.

#12 I can’t believe I am saying this, because I am about as big a bibliophile as it is possible to be without being totally crazy, but sometimes buying anything, even a book, is not the right answer.

I did enjoy the list.