professornana (professornana) wrote,

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What doesn't kill you makes you smarter?

I really liked the lead-in to this article that suggested reading a book a week: They propose reading a chapter each day. I would suggest that reading only a chapter will not get you far enough. If that is all you can find tome to read, fine. But is this is all you can make time for day after day, I would ask what else you could do to find more time to read. Donalyn Miller calls it "edge" reading. Finding those small moments when we can and should read. I call it "fringe" reading. Here are some tips:

1. I read while I am sipping my coffee in the morning. I am an early riser still, so this is the best time for me. Reading at bedtime is likely to result in me falling asleep over the book. But if you are not a morning person, fine, read at night. I can grab 15-20 minutes in the morning. I can read an entire picture book in that time, or i can generally make a dent in a couple of chapters of a longer work.

2. Read with your ears. I spend tons of time in the car commuting to and from the office and to and from sites for professional development. Last week I read the Daulaire's Book of Greek Myths via audio. Different myths were read by Paul Newman, Sidney Poitier, Kathleen Turner, Matthew Broderick, and others. I loved revisiting these tales.

3. Always carry a book. They accompany me onto airplanes, into restaurants, and to the various appointments I make. I can generally finish a chapter book while getting my hair transformed from its natural color (mostly gray) to something a tad brighter (pink?). Since I know my doctor triple books each appointment, I know it is likely I can FINSIH a graphic novel (or two).

4. Hold yourself accountable by joining some group of fellow readers. I belong to the Centurions of 2011, a Facebook group that reports out our reading each month. So, I keep a list month by month (and if you read this blog, you have seen those lists). I also belong to a Voxer group with some very avid readers. We report in almost every day with what we are reading.

5. Don't worry if you have some dormant periods. There are just some days I cannot fit in time. Or there may be a day here and there where a nap takes up the designated reading time. It's OKAY.

You can go back to the article from Time to check on the other tips. I think some of them are wonderful, ones I should do sometimes (exercise) and ones I do (keep lists, talk to smart people). But instead of watching even educational TV, I read. Instead of listening to music, I read. If I do not read how could I ever encourage others to do the same?
Tags: reading
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