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Publisher's Summary

What would you read if you had the time? What would you learn if you could? Spend just three hours with Steve Leveen's Little Guide to Your Well-Read Life and you could gain a lifetime of greater fulfillment as a reader. The secret, as Steve will tell you, is to know how to fall, and stay, in book love. That's easy to do, once you give yourself permission to read your way.

This means knowing how to find the books that speak to your interests, passions, and desires. Being able to give up on a book with no guilt. Discovering the full power of audiobooks. And learning how to become an active reader: the athlete rather than the spectator.

The CEO and co-founder of Levenger, Steve was inspired to write this Little Guide to help repair what he calls his own ill-read life. What he learns, about reading groups, libraries, and even speed reading, may surprise you.

But perhaps the most important discovery is this: that a well-read life has little to do with how many or even which books you read. Rather, it has everything to do with a life well-lived.

©2005 Steve Leveen; (P)2005 Levenger Press

Critic Reviews

"Perfect for all of us who can never get enough time with good books. It not only urges us to indulge deeply and often, it shows us how." (Myra Hart, Professor, Harvard Business School)
"Readers and want-to-be readers will be encouraged by the advice to read more, more widely, and more systematically. And, as those readers gain confidence, they may read more adventurously. One can only be delighted that such a book is being published." (Michael Keller, University Librarian, Stanford University)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall
  • Patti
  • Chittenango, NY, United States
  • 10-15-05

Get This Book!

Whether you are already in book love or not, everyone can gain from this little jewel. I got the book (on sale because I felt "why not?") more on a whim, but I have told more people about this book than about almost any other book I have "ristened" (I love that term!!) in years.

Yes, I have been doing many of the tips he offered, but he still confirmed that I was on the right track and gave me several additional new pointers. His narration was not the most exciting I have ever heard, but his section on whether or not an author should read his own work was right on. I would rather have heard his rather monotone voice than someone else who might "jazz it up" for the wrong reasons. But most important of all, I gained a new respect for the validation of not necessarily caring for the same books others do (the classics was a great example) and for not wasting time finishing a book that does not interest me.

Right on, Mr. Leveen! Thank you for this treasure. You know your craft well and I am glad to have been introduced to you.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Susan
  • houston, TX, United States
  • 10-27-05

worth a listen

I was hesitant to order a book on reading to listen to. Even after 6 years and an audible customer (march 1999), I still feel like I'm not really reading a book when I listen to it instead. And, I was mildly concerned that the author would dismiss audiobooks as somehow "cheating." But instead, he validated my choice to "Risten" to books as a worthwhile way to access books.

While most of the content is familiar territory, hearing it in a fresh context helped me get out of the scifi/fantasy rut and broaden my listening horizons.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Todd
  • Cincinnati, OH, USA
  • 05-14-05


A decent primer for anyone who reads little, but those who are already avid readers will already be doing most of what he suggests. The helpful section was the one on annotation. The rest was so-so.

15 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A book about reading?

A person with a book is never without a friend.

I loved this book. It inspired me to look at my reading life in a whole different way. It had many great ideas for how to get the most out of your reading life. The idea of journaliing the books you read has been very beneficial to me in the month since I "read" this book. It has helped me clarify my own thoughts on a book I read and channel my future reading plans. As a person who has hit my middle years, I realize there are so many things I want to read before my life is over, and this has helped me organize my ideas so as to read what I want to read rather than what I feel I "should" read.

As a person with far too many unfinished books that I haven't the will to finish, it was a great relief to hear that it is okay to shelve them unfinished! Even though I know this, it was nice to hear it from a third party.

The author does a really nice job narrating his own book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

The Little Guide to Your Well-Read Life

This book validated my audio book addiction. It also gave me some great ideas to catagorize my books and make them more enjoyable. One of the best "self help" guides I've read.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A must for everyone!

Like many people, I kept thinking that I didn't have any time to read. I listened to this audiobook while commuting to work and couldn't wait to get out of the car and practice some of the suggestions the author provided. I can now call myself an active reader. Thank you Steve Leveen!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Joe
  • USA
  • 09-08-05


My friend loaned me a copy of this audiobook (my very first) and I can't believe what I've been missing. I listened to Mr. Leveen reading his "The Little Guide to Your Well-Read Life' on my drive to and from work and it inspired me to start reading again. I've already compiled a list of books that I want to read and am in the middle of my second one. One of Mr. Leveen's tips is that it is okay to write in books (except for Library books). It took me twenty minutes debating if I could actually do that. It was so liberating after I wrote my first note in the margin. Thank you!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story


Outstanding essay on the benefits of pursuing a well-read life. I am inspired to make better my own journey.

  • Overall
  • Starlet
  • San Carlos, CA, United States
  • 11-15-09

If you Love to Keep Notes. & Lists...

A short book worth reading --I thought I was doing great by having lists of books I've read, wish lists, favorite authors and narrators -- but there is so much more one can do as a lover of books. The author suggests spending time after reading or listening to a book, about an hour , and go over in your mind to reflect and; if possible, going back to this reflection a couple of times more. He recommends writing in the margins of the pages as you read -- questions and answers, etc. He has a formula for this and many other approaches to keeping the memory of your book more alive than forgotten. One thing I will start to do, as an audio book listener, is buy the hard bound version and read along when I can (which the whole point of audio for me is that I don't HAVE time to read a book). However, what I am trying out right now on The Red Tent is to read the book on my iPhone Kindle application while listening to the book on my iPhone --it's great.. Also, I can highlight a word to look up, highlight a passage to read again and write a note in the Kindle application -- best of both worlds. I probably will not be able to do this for the whole book, but enough to get a much deeper understanding of what's going on when I'm lost in the audible.

  • Overall

Better on Paper

I love this little book. It stirred a desire in me to revamp my reading life by organizing it. Howver, I could not listen to this recording. It was so slow and dull ... I had to go buy this one as a book store. In my opinion, this is a book to spend more time with. This is a book I need margins to write in and a highlighter to underline in. By the book ... in paper form.