How to be well read

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How to be well read

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We’re taught from a very young age that reading as much as possible is the pathway to success and fulfillment. Picture the smartest, hardest-working person you know, and chances are you picture them in a library poring over a variety of texts for hours on end. While simply being an avid reader does not ensure success, successful people are assuredly avid readers. And all of them have the following traits in common.

1. They have increased focus

Successful people are able to focus on one task for an elongated period of time. Anyone who’s read Atlas Shrugged can tell you reading isn’t a quick process. It’s also not a singular process. Readers take breaks, naturally, but the most avid reader simply cannot put a book down for longer than a day after they’ve dove into it. Successful people feel the same way about any task they set out to do.

2. They set goals

Along with focus, readers set goals for themselves whenever they sit down with a good book. Whether setting out to read a specific amount of pages before moving on to another activity, or deciding to read until a certain concept is solidified in their mind, readers actively try to accomplish something whenever they open a text. Successful people set goals for just about every moment of their life, and continue working toward the goal until they surpass it.

3.They spend time wisely

They might only have 20 minutes before they have to be somewhere, but instead of seeing “only 20 minutes” as not enough time to get anything done, they see it as 20 minutes that can be spent reading. Successful people view their time as incredibly valuable, and seize every opportunity they have to learn something new, or accomplish a goal. Readers realize that 5 wasted minutes every day over the course of a year is more than an entire 24 hours wasted that could have been spent reading.

4. They have perspective

Successful people are able to see all angles of an issue, because they have read a variety of literature from various perspectives. Two of Bill Clinton’s favorite novels are Ralph Ellison’s The Invisible Man and Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. The insight gained from reading these novels undoubtedly shaped his perspective in dealing with race relations as a politician. Being an avid reader allows you to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, if only for a moment; but once that moment’s over, you remember the experience for the rest of your life.

5. They are reflective

In addition to gaining perspective, readers are reflective about what they have read. While gaining perspective allows a person to see from the other side of the fence, being reflective allows them the opportunity to understand how they can be productive with their new-found perspective. Successful people see reading not as the simple act of staring at words on a page. They understand the profound effect that consuming a text can have on the mind, and how books can change a person’s life.

6. They have incredible writing and speaking skills

It’s no surprise that the greatest orators in human history have all been enthusiastic about reading. Successful people draw inspiration from their role models, and utilize this inspiration to further their cause. From Demosthenes, to Lincoln, to Nelson Mandela, people who remain cemented in history became such passionate and well-spoken lecturers by studying the great minds before them.

7. They have increased memory

Readers understand just how powerful the brain really is. It can hold almost an unlimited capacity of information. The more you read and learn, the easier it becomes to retain information. Successful people don’t prescribe to Homer Simpson’s belief that learning something new pushes something old out. They simply continue to learn, and commit an incredible expanse of knowledge to memory, sometimes without even realising it.

8. They stay fresh

Great readers also see the brain as a muscle that needs to be worked. Just like going to the gym every day keeps your arms and legs in shape, reading keeps your mind sharp and able to easily retain knowledge. Successful people exercise their mind on a daily basis through reading and other methods such as crossword puzzles and brain teasers. Successful people habitually create challenges to overcome, which in turn improves their minds’ capability to solve increasingly larger problems every day.

9. They are educated and informed

Successful people rise to the top because they have spent their time on earth learning. When they pick up a book, they don’t do so just to finish it, but to take something away from it. Reading textbooks was never just a school assignment to be completed, but was a chance to expand their knowledge even further. Even while reading fictional novels, successful people take with them life lessons that they carry with them forever.

10. They read to relax

Even the most successful people need to tune out the world every once in a while. But this doesn’t mean they turn their minds off completely. There is nothing wrong with reading a “trashy magazine” or graphic novel to unwind. Reading just about anything is more beneficial than watching television or wasting a Friday night at a bar. Again, successful people value every minute of their time, and even in their most idle moments they still strive to improve. And there’s no better way to chill out while keeping yourself fresh than with a good book.

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This takes over 100 classic works of literature and summarises each in a few paragraphs, often as a pastiche of the work itself. Most are poems of some sort (free verse, sonnets, plays, , limericks and others), but there are letters, diary entries, straight prose, and Kafka’s Metamorphosis is rendered as the lyrics to a blues song.

The irony is that, in contradiction of the title, you can really only appreciate the entries if you are familiar with the work it parodies.

Clever, funny, surprising an This takes over 100 classic works of literature and summarises each in a few paragraphs, often as a pastiche of the work itself. Most are poems of some sort (free verse, sonnets, plays, , limericks and others), but there are letters, diary entries, straight prose, and Kafka’s Metamorphosis is rendered as the lyrics to a blues song.

The irony is that, in contradiction of the title, you can really only appreciate the entries if you are familiar with the work it parodies.

Clever, funny, surprising and varied, there are numerous contributors (including the compiler, O E Parrott).

One that’s short enough to quote in entirity is Claudio Vita-Finzi’s precis of Anthony Burgess’s Clockwork Orange:

Young Alex breaks people like toys;
He’s cured by a course which destroys
His freedom of will;
Relapses until
He grows up and. boys will be boys.

There are amusingly awful rhymes and puns, such as this opening about Don Quixote:

A sort of knightly Mr Fix-It,
That’s the story of Don Quixote.

Fans of English cuisine(!) may like the start of this tribute to The Wind in the Willows

The wind in the willows.
Spring-cleaning for Mole;
The Rat’s on the river,
The Toad’s in a hole –

The troubling Lolita is remembered in amazingly alliterative series of “What the Papers Said” headlines, starting with:

LONELY LECTURER LODGES WITH LOVELORN LANDLADY
And ending with:
LOQUACIOUS LOGOPHILE LOCKED UP FOR LIFE!
Othello is given similar treatment.

Perhaps most strangely, the exquisite and rather mannered story of Brideshead Revisited is told in a series of limericks, such as:

Next day’s invitation to dine,
On plovers’ eggs, lobster and wine,
Is raffishly bluff,
Non-hetero stuff,
Where destinies darkly entwine.

When this was first published in 1985, I think it was (one of) the first of its kind. There have been many similar books since, some by O E Parrott, but this is my favourite. (However, this sort of collection is not to be confused with the sort of reviews published by Manny Rayner, which are equally excellent, in totally different (and more varied) ways: What Pooh Might Have Said to Dante and Other Futile Speculations and If Research Were Romance and Other Implausible Conjectures.)
. more

How to be well readAs reading tutors, we know just how important learning to read is. We live in the information age and that statement is truer now than it has ever been. As true as that statement is, have you ever stopped and asked yourself why reading is so important? Or better still, had to explain to your child why?

While we do understand that reading is important it can be a difficult thing to put into words. In the event your son or daughter has questioned why reading is important, we have put together a list of the top reasons to emphasize the importance of reading for your child.

    Reading Develops Important Language Skills

Whether it is books, magazines, or E-books, reading can help cement a child’s language skills. Exposure to language helps a child to further develop their vocabulary in a way that every day conversation cannot. Even at early ages when a child does not understand everything they read, they are able to come to conclusions about new words from the context of material.
Reading Is Especially Necessary With Today’s Technology

Where some thought that the advent of computers would make the reading less important, the exact opposite is true; it has made reading even more important. Gathering information on the web or even communicating via email and social media all require reading and writing. Even texting requires reading and writing skills!
Reading Opens Up The World

Very few of us are world travelers and even those who are can only see so many places in one’s lifetime. Being able to read opens the world up to a child. They can learn about different cultures, histories, and societies. It shows life in a different way, both real and imagined. It can inform about the past, present, and future. In short, reading can take a child to then stars and back without ever leaving their home.
Reading Can Enhance Social Skills

This may sound like a contradiction since much of a person’s reading is done in solitary. Consider this; early in life a child’s reading consists of being read to or going to “story time”. This makes books and reading something to be shared. It builds a relationship with reading. As time goes on and a person does more individual reading it can become a conversation piece much like a popular television show. A person who has just read a great book wants desperately to share the story with someone else. How many times have you read a book and couldn’t wait to lend it to someone else? In addition, being someone who is “well read” is still a positive attribute in society as it often implies increased intelligence, being better cultured, and having a more interesting background for debates and conversations.
Reading is Fun!

Like a good movie, a book can be loads of fun. You can get whisked off to a world of wizards or trek through the galaxy on a spacecraft. Regardless of your child’s interests, reading can be a great past time.

These are just a few reasons why reading is so vital to children. It is important to nurture your children’s reading and seek them the help they need if they show signs of struggling.

If your child is one of the many who have a hard time with reading, now is the time to act. Don’t wait until they are lost. The Reading Clinic offers a variety of approaches to help your child get back on track. Our reading tutors are the best in the business and will work with your child every step of the way.

Being well-informed is not the same as being a know-all. The former is about being able to ask intelligent questions in seminars, engage in debate about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and realise that two of your tutors are having an affair. The latter is about passing on information on all of these subjects to everyone you know, even if you are not entirely sure the information is true.

Also, being well-informed involves knowledge about lots of different things, while being a know-all can mean knowing all there is to know about an obscure period of Latvian history but not about how to tie your shoelaces.

So, one of the things to remember if you want to be well-informed is to be broad in your interests. Don’t spend every waking minute in libraries and lectures. Find time to talk to fellow students about books and talks they have attended, flick through a periodical analysing recent world events, or watch the final eviction on Celebrity Big Brother.

Attending a play or art exhibition, or even pondering the positives and negatives of Coolio may spark ideas useful to your topic of study, even if the connection isn’t immediately obvious. So keep an eye on arts and events listings, and don’t dismiss every invitation to socialise as a distraction.

Meanwhile, remember that it can be tricky to be on top of your subject if you’re always thinking about entirely different things, or watching reality TV. So do spend some of your time in libraries and lectures. And while you’re there, ask for advice about the most useful publications and online resources available in your subject.

Then, read. Start with all those bits of paper you were given at the beginning of term where you will find loads of useful information. Try reading emails from tutors, and comments on the bottom of assignments. You can make all sorts of interesting discoveries by simply casting your eyes over noticeboards and reading some of the posters stuck around the student union. It’s even worth reading things like your course handbook.

Then there are newspapers, magazines, websites. It is also worth joining the odd online discussion group in areas that interest you. Oh, and don’t forget to Twitter, or to check what your friends are up to on Facebook, although no more than five times an hour.

One danger with information-gathering is that it can become so addictive you never get around to doing anything with it. Remember that no one will realise how well-informed you are if you keep all the information to yourself.

What is Read Well?

Read Well ® is a comprehensive research-based K–3 reading and language arts solution that helps students build the critical skills needed to be successful readers and learners. Through a flexible approach of whole-class instruction, differentiated small-group instruction, and individual student practice, teachers can meet students at their skill levels and adapt instruction accordingly.

Read Well Gives Students a Clear Path to Reading Comprehension, Mastery, and Academic Success

Unique instructional design with parallel scope and sequence

Unique sound sequence based on the most frequently used words

Flexible pacing and grouping options based on individual student needs

Multiple entry points for appropriate student placement with embedded assessments and progress monitoring

Focuses on explicit, systematic instruction in the “big five” of reading

ESSA evidence level: Strong

Who Benefits from Read Well?

Read Well is a comprehensive reading program for students in grades K–3 that addresses the needs of all students—from low-performing to high-achieving. The program adjusts to the need of each student, allowing students to advance at their own pace. Teachers have continuous progress monitoring that enables them to differentiate instruction based on individual student need.

How to be well read

Evidence Based

Read Well is a research-based comprehensive K–3 reading and language arts solution that helps teachers effectively target students at all stages of development. This evidence-based approach builds critical skills students need to be successful readers and learners.

Proven Results

Efficacy studies demonstrate effectiveness across all student demographics.

Impact Study Lee County, FL Results

Read Well K

  • Whole-class activities address different learning styles
  • Focus on phonics and phonemic awareness with games, songs, stories, art projects, and handwriting activities
  • Small-group instruction focuses on decoding, vocabulary, comprehension, and fluency
  • Composition unit provides explicit instruction in the writing process, writing traits, handwriting, and read-aloud comprehension and vocabulary

Read Well 1

  • Features individualized small-group instruction where students:
    • Practice story reading
    • Learn vocabulary
    • Develop decoding strategies
    • Improve comprehension
    • Master test-taking strategies
    • Increase fluency
  • Composition unit provides explicit instruction in the writing process, writing traits, handwriting, and read-aloud comprehension and vocabulary
  • Spelling and Writing Conventions unit incorporates complementary whole-class instruction

Read Well 2

  • Continues to build the foundational skills necessary to reading more sophisticated narrative and expository text selections
  • Focus on low-frequency letter/sound associations, word parts, and multisyllabic word fluency
  • Expansion of vocabulary, content knowledge, and comprehension skills
  • Spelling and Writing Conventions unit incorporates complementary whole-class instruction
  • Composition unit provides explicit instruction in the writing process, writing traits, handwriting, and read-aloud comprehension and vocabulary

Read Well 3

  • Expands on Read Well K–2 model, teaching critical comprehension and encoding skills for deeper understanding of content-area text
  • Provides modeling, collaboration, and independent practice to develop analytical and abstract thinking skills
  • Embedded assessment and progress monitoring helps teachers provide targeted, effective instruction on an ongoing basis

The Read Well Difference

How K–3 students at a high-achieving Title I school are succeeding with Read Well

Hear how Springfield Elementary School has increased the number of students reading at or above grade level more rapidly than any other school in the district.

Support young learners in your school or district

How Read Well Aligns with Your State

Learn more about Read Well. Find state-specific and national correlation guides.

Training and Support Services

We are committed to a long-term partnership with every district that implements our solutions. Each implementation support plan is individually crafted with school and/or district administrators to meet specific needs, including making explicit connections to state standards and/or the CCSS. Districts can choose from a menu of training and support options including in-person, online, or a combination of both.

Limited-Time Savings: 60% Off Leadership Books

How to be well read

Seasoned conversationalists are usually great storytellers and can carry on a conversation about a wide range of topics. When you’re knowledgeable and well-read, small talk can become more than an opportunity to pass the time. Instead, it’s an easy way to have interesting conversations with clients and colleagues.

If you’d like to take your networking ability to the next level, set out to acquire a well-rounded repertoire of conversational subjects. Read newspapers, books and magazines. Listen to podcasts and TED talks. Sign up for classes and attend cultural events. Travel to exotic locations.

If you invest in personal development, you’ll stand out as an entrepreneur who is intelligent, experienced and interesting. Here are eight ways to learn a little about a lot in just a few minutes a day.

1. Subscribe to a daily newspaper. You could subscribe to your local paper or opt for a daily with national distribution such as The New York Times or the Wall Street Journal. If you would prefer not to have the actual paper delivered to your home or office, most offer a digital edition for a reduced subscription rate. Go online and read newspapers from other parts of the world. When you travel, pick up the local paper at the airport. It’s an opportunity to spur conversation with clients, colleagues and friends.

2. Read for 20 minutes a day. As the saying goes, “readers are leaders.” Pick up one or two books on an interesting subject you know very little about. Read fiction and non-fiction. If you have a very busy schedule, or often become distracted later in the day, read first thing in the morning or over your lunch break.

3. Multi-task on your commute to work. Podcasts and audiobooks can help you pass the time in traffic or on the train — and teach you a little something at the same time. Research which podcasts and audiobooks are available on the topic you’d like to learn more about. Read reviews and download a few to your smartphone. Even a short commute will give you enough time to learn a couple new tidbits.

4. Listen and learn. You may be tempted to walk away from a group conversation if it segues into a topic with which you’re not familiar. Instead, stick around and listen. Ask questions. Offer any insight you have based on your unique experience and perspective.

5. Sign up for a class. Many municipalities offer adult education classes in a variety of topics that range from painting, creative writing to foreign languages. These classes are typically small, inexpensive and will give you the opportunity to explore an area of interest. If your city or county doesn’t offer classes, contact your local community college or university.

6. Attend local events. Chances are your area has dozens of groups that regularly get together for social and professional reasons. Most are focused on one thing: an industry or profession, a particular culture or a shared interest. Sign up and go when you have the chance. It’s an opportunity to make new connections and learn something new.

7. Visit museums and cultural centers. Take advantage of the historical and cultural exhibitions in your area. Visit museums that focus on an area you know very little about. If you have a particular question, most museums have docents who are extremely knowledgeable and would be glad to speak with you or give you a tour.

8. Venture outside your comfort zone. If you consciously look for opportunities, there are thousands of ways to meet new people and learn about new things. Take advantage of the knowledge your neighbors, colleagues and acquaintances have to offer. Ask questions and be curious. If a particular topic piques your interest, reach out to an expert with a specific question. The world is full of surprises; all you have to do is keep your eyes open.

How to be well read

A Quora user recently asked, “How many books should one read in a year?” Here is my answer.

I understand the concern from other Quora users that setting a challenging, unrealistic reading goal can discourage people and makes them quit early on. However, you will never know if you can read one book per week unless you try, so why not give it a whirl? The worst that happens is you don’t meet your goal. That could still be a positive. Let’s say you try to read a book each week and end up reading one every two weeks. That’s still 26 books in one year, more than you probably realized you could complete. Even if you read 20 books in one year, you are still reading much more than the average person.

Speaking from personal experience, setting the goal of reading 52 books in 52 weeks in November of 2013 was a life-changing experience. When I decided to try, I was almost positive I would fail. I am not a fast reader. I am not as well read as many other people. But I read a very inspiring article by Breather CEO Julien Smith and decided to try what seemed like an impossible task at the time.

Sometimes it is good to push ourselves towards an impossible goal.

I knew if I wanted to have a snowball’s chance in hell of reading at such a rapid clip, I needed to put some systems in place.

How to be well read

  1. I signed up for an Audible account. This was a very important part of reaching my goal. I spend at least 1 hour of every weekday driving, often more if I have to run an errand on my way home from work. Five hours per week of reading adds up quick. It was essential to helping me stay on track. Doing this also helped me develop an appreciation for audiobooks, which are amazing. A good audiobook can add an extra layer of depth to an already great book.

2) I beefed up my Kindle collection. Sorry book purists, I love physical books as well, but having a large collection of books on my phone makes it so that I can read anywhere at any time as long as I have my phone with me. This means grocery lines, the RMV, and waiting rooms are now prime locations for reading. I realize I could always carry around a paperback, but having books on my phone is an extra layer of book security.

3) I went on countless library book binges. Countless. Sometimes I would come home with 12 new books, knowing there was no way I could possibly read all of them. But it made it so that I always had a book on hand that I couldn’t wait to read.

4) I woke up earlier on weekends. Sure, use your weekends to socialize, relax, and rest, but try to wake up a bit earlier. Even 45 minutes will make a difference if you use the time for reading.

5) I cut back on TV and movies. This is a hard one for me because I am a Celtics basketball and film junkie. I also love binge watching a great show as much as the next person. But I forced myself to prioritize and cut back. I refuse to channel surf anymore. If I’m sitting in front of my TV now, it’s because I really want to watch something.

These are just suggestions, everyone’s system will likely be different. I think the most important thing is to make it so that books are always available and frequent reading becomes a way of life. After using the systems mentioned above, I read 53 books in 52 weeks. I am so grateful for the experience and am pushing myself to beat 53 books this year.

How to be well read

Some people mentioned in their answers that reading a large number of books in a year could just be a reason for someone to brag. This is true — you have to make sure you are reading to appreciate the experience of reading the books first and foremost. Bragging about how many books you read is like being someone who name drops where they went to college all the time. You don’t want to be that person.

When I first set out on my goal, beyond my wife and a few close friends, I didn’t tell anyone. I didn’t update those who knew about my goal on my progress unless they asked. I try to be casual and laid back when talking about books with other people. I don’t force recommendations down their throats. Outside of my writing, I avoid making suggestions unless someone asks. I want to read as often as possible to learn as much as possible. I am not looking for bragging rights or validation.

If you are looking for some more valuable insights on how to read more, you should check out Claire Diaz-Ortiz. She has several great articles on the process of reading. I’d recommend starting here -> How I Read 200 Books a Year.

I’d like to conclude with my favorite quote from the Julien Smith article, which inspired me to get started.

“All the world’s wisdom is contained in books – most of it is not on the internet or known by people in your social group, so this can really help you expand, if you let it. So start today.” – Julien Smith

How to be well readAs reading tutors, we know just how important learning to read is. We live in the information age and that statement is truer now than it has ever been. As true as that statement is, have you ever stopped and asked yourself why reading is so important? Or better still, had to explain to your child why?

While we do understand that reading is important it can be a difficult thing to put into words. In the event your son or daughter has questioned why reading is important, we have put together a list of the top reasons to emphasize the importance of reading for your child.

    Reading Develops Important Language Skills

Whether it is books, magazines, or E-books, reading can help cement a child’s language skills. Exposure to language helps a child to further develop their vocabulary in a way that every day conversation cannot. Even at early ages when a child does not understand everything they read, they are able to come to conclusions about new words from the context of material.
Reading Is Especially Necessary With Today’s Technology

Where some thought that the advent of computers would make the reading less important, the exact opposite is true; it has made reading even more important. Gathering information on the web or even communicating via email and social media all require reading and writing. Even texting requires reading and writing skills!
Reading Opens Up The World

Very few of us are world travelers and even those who are can only see so many places in one’s lifetime. Being able to read opens the world up to a child. They can learn about different cultures, histories, and societies. It shows life in a different way, both real and imagined. It can inform about the past, present, and future. In short, reading can take a child to then stars and back without ever leaving their home.
Reading Can Enhance Social Skills

This may sound like a contradiction since much of a person’s reading is done in solitary. Consider this; early in life a child’s reading consists of being read to or going to “story time”. This makes books and reading something to be shared. It builds a relationship with reading. As time goes on and a person does more individual reading it can become a conversation piece much like a popular television show. A person who has just read a great book wants desperately to share the story with someone else. How many times have you read a book and couldn’t wait to lend it to someone else? In addition, being someone who is “well read” is still a positive attribute in society as it often implies increased intelligence, being better cultured, and having a more interesting background for debates and conversations.
Reading is Fun!

Like a good movie, a book can be loads of fun. You can get whisked off to a world of wizards or trek through the galaxy on a spacecraft. Regardless of your child’s interests, reading can be a great past time.

These are just a few reasons why reading is so vital to children. It is important to nurture your children’s reading and seek them the help they need if they show signs of struggling.

If your child is one of the many who have a hard time with reading, now is the time to act. Don’t wait until they are lost. The Reading Clinic offers a variety of approaches to help your child get back on track. Our reading tutors are the best in the business and will work with your child every step of the way.