One of those books I have not read, but I have been influenced by is How to Read by Mortimer Adler. Adler is one of those people that approaches books scientifically.
While I have not read Adler, I have read Lit! by Tony Reinke which is intentionally a Christianized version of Adler. I read and reviewed it last year. Lit! had a very good theology of reading and some good ideas about how to read better.
But on the whole I think that it lost the focus on reading for pleasure and concentrated too much on reading for good. It was focused on efficiency and ‘getting the most’ out of the books that you are reading. That is not all bad, but it is a good way to suck joy out of reading. It is like talking about how to get the most out of being a parent or a spouse without actually talking about enjoying your actual children or spouse.
137 Books in One Year does not have that problem. This is a book to read if you want to find the joy of reading again. This is a short book (93 page). I read it in about an hour. It is in three parts. Just over half the book is Kevin Hendrick’s 10 steps to read more and enjoy what you are reading more. These are practical (always carry a book) and focused on pleasure (read what you like).
I do many of the steps already but I enjoyed reading someone else’s perspective and the exuberance of Hendrick’s love of reading.
The second part is an interview with me. Kevin and I have never met, but we are online friends (no idea how we originally connected.) I helped him format two book for kindle a couple years ago and we have continued to talk. He knew that I liked to read (and had successfully read around 175 books for three years in a row). The appendix A is culled from a more than hour long conversation about how I approach reading and what I like to read. The final section is an annotated list of the 137 Books that Kevin read last year (I read that on his blog and didn’t re-read it again.)
Even if the part about me were not in the book I would encourage you to pick this up. This is a book that encourages you to read for pleasure, to discover the joy of reading and to read for reading sake. It is much more like Alan Jacob’s The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distractions (Bookwi.se Review) except shorter and less academically focused.
I love reading books about books by people that love books. So I have no problems encouraging you to read this. Below are some other book reviews of books about book or books by people that love books.
Other Books About Reading or Books by People that Love Books
- Lit! A Christian Guide to Reading Books by Tony Reinke
- The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction by Alan Jacobs
- Surprised by Oxford: A Memoir by Carolyn Webber
- Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me by Karen Swallow Prior