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     November 13, 2003


"The recipe for greatness is to be able to
 cultivate feelings of ignorance and curiosity
 at the same time."

 -- Harley Hahn

Harley Hahn's Guide to Reading

I can imagine a world without movies, without
radio, and without television (in fact, I don't
watch TV).  I can even imagine a world without the
Internet or computers or telephones or strawberry
ice cream.

What I can't imagine is a world without reading.

Reading is the most intimate undertaking we
experience as human beings: the activity that
thoughtful people would be the least willing to
give up.

If you are smart and you have formed the habit of
thinking well, you love to read: it's that simple.

You love to read because it allows you to connect
with talented and creative people (the authors of
books) in a way that is meaningful and stimulating,
as well as comfortable and safe.

Consider: what other activity allows a stranger to
enter your mind and control your very thoughts for
hours at a time?  What other experience feels so
close and so personal with absolutely no sense of
danger or discomfort?

Although the author of a book may be in control of
the thoughts and images in your head, you control
the time, the place, and (when you choose a book)
the subject matter.  As you read, you also control
the pacing from one moment to the next, in a way
that makes the overall experience feel right to

I have been thinking about reading for some time.
Why is it important?  What does it mean to read
well?  What types of books should we be reading?

The result is "Harley Hahn's Guide to Reading".
I think you're going to like it.


"I love to read, and I hope you do too.

"Why? Because reading is so important in so
many ways.  Indeed, throughout your lifetime,
if you are to keep your mind working well,
it is crucial that you spend a lot of time

"To help you understand the importance of reading
I have written an essay and compiled various
resources for you.

"I have two goals..."


-- Harley Hahn