Being around books makes it very easy them to be a big part of your life
Look at your surroundings. How easy is it for you to grab a book – paper or digital – and start reading? "The more frictionless [a habit] is, the easier it is to pick it up," says Clear. He recommends making changes to your digital and physical environments so that reading is easy and effortless – including making reading apps especially prominent on your phone, and placing books in the physical places that you most often frequent. "Being around books makes it very easy to pick them up and check them out. If you want something to be a big part of your life, make it a big part of your environment." [...]
Having laid the foundations for your new reading habit, the next stage involves creating new "action associations", which in the context of books means reading often enough in the same situation until a strong, learned association is formed between being in that situation (or that time of day) and reading.
The more specific you can be, the more likely you are to succeed. So, think about the specifics of when and where you are going to do the extra book reading, such as with your breakfast, on the train to work, with your midmorning coffee [...] or after dinner. [D]oesn’t matter which, as long as this specific opportunity for reading happens consistently in your life. [...]
Once you’ve found the moments in your daily life when you could conceivably begin a new book-reading habit, then keep reading in that same context as consistently as you can. "Action association is at the heart of a habit," says Gardner. "If you keep doing it, you keep reinforcing that association. And as that association is reinforced, so control over the behaviour passes from a kind of effortful reflective processing system to a much more automatic system. You go into the situation that triggers the association and you start doing it, without even thinking about what you’re going to be doing."
[...] the act of reading is a secret, and sometimes fertile, ceremony of communion. Anyone who reads something that is really worth the trouble does not read with impunity. Reading one of those books that breathe when you put them to your ear does not leave you untouched: it changes you, even if only a little bit, it integrates something into you, something that you did not know or had not imagined, and it invites you to seek, to ask questions. And more still: sometimes it can even help you to discover the true meaning of words betrayed by the dictionary of our times. What more could a critical consciousness want?
One piece of information followed by a denial, that's two pieces of information.
The basic project of art is always to make the world whole and comprehensible, to restore it to us in all its glory and its occasional nastiness, not through argument but through feeling, and then to close the gap between you and everything that is not you, and in this way pass from feeling to meaning. It’s not something that committees can do. It’s not a task achieved by groups or by movements. It’s done by individuals, each person mediating in some way between a sense of history and an experience of the world.
Dear Mr. —
It comes down to the meaning of ‘needless.’ Often a word can be removed without destroying the structure of a sentence, but that does not necessarily mean that the word is needless or that the sentence has gained by its removal.
If you were to put a narrow construction on the word ‘needless,’ you would have to remove tens of thousands of words from Shakespeare, who seldom said anything in six words that could be said in twenty. Writing is not an exercise in excision, it’s a journey into sound. How about [Macbeth’s] ‘tomorrow and ...