Get reading again: Quality, not quantity

Struggled with reading during the pandemic? Here’s a tip to help you get started again: Prioritize the quality of the attention you are paying to words. Reading well is the practice of noticing carefully and with an informed perspective – it’s not so much what you read as how you do it.

Throw away your inner “reading activity tracker” and enjoy curious and provocative engagements with whatever you’re reading, without worrying about racking up the literary miles. This will also dispel that sense of guilt about not reading “enough” that can make reading seem like yet another chore, akin to “not getting enough exercise.”

In his introduction to Sudden Fiction International, an anthology of very short stories or “flash fiction,” American novelist Charles Baxter made the point that the duration of our attention is not as important as its quality: “No-one ever said that sonnets or haikus were evidence of short attention spans.”

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