Complete Guide To Reading With Purpose

What is reading with purpose?

Reading with purpose is an approach to reading that I want to share with you because of the impact it has made on my life. Reading can be a powerful tool for achieving your goals.

Whether you’re working on self-improvement, self-education, or making your way around the world through literature; purposely selecting what you read and keeping a reading journal will make a huge impact on achieving your goals.

Reading with purpose involves:

Setting goals to achieve through your reading.

Purposefully selecting books to read.

Creating reading lists.

Taking notes or highlighting quotes while reading.

Writing reviews or journaling about the books you read.

Transforming what you read into material to use in your life and to achieve your goals.

Anything else you’d like to add. Your goals, your reading, your choice.

Taking this approach to my own reading has been very rewarding. I came to purposeful reading through a strong desire to become a better writer. I didn’t have the resources to go back to school or take courses, so I decided to take my learning into my own hands and hatched a plan to study what I needed to know from literature.

“All I have learned, I learned from books.”

Abraham Lincoln

Your goal or purpose doesn’t have to have anything to do with learning. There are so many good reasons to get into reading. Most of us read for the pleasure of it, for the escape it provides. Did you know there are even scientifically proven health benefits to reading?

But even if you only read for pleasure, you can still read with purpose. Have you ever wanted to read more of the classics? Dip into a different genre? Travel South America through literature? These are all goals you can reach by taking a purposeful approach to your reading. And, I guarantee it’ll be great fun.

Reading is my most enduring hobby. I read, first and foremost, for the pleasure of it. Nothing brings me quite as much joy. But, I don’t believe in wasting time on books that don’t carry me away with every page.

The purpose approach has led me to book blogs, literature prize shortlists, comparative literature reading lists – places I never would have gone without it. And as a result, I have read some of my all-time favourite books.

Fiction might be made-up, but the stories reveal truths about life that are equally as valuable as the truths you learn in non-fiction. I have found so much wisdom and insight in the pages of fiction that provoked lines of thought and questions I hadn’t previously considered and sparked inspiration for other projects. It was the active reading that reading with purpose asks of you that got me to pay attention, to jot down quotes and ideas, to be present and alert.

Who Should Read With Purpose?

Anybody who’s interested in making the absolute most of what they read. Reading is a powerful tool. I recommend the purpose approach to writers in particular, but also anybody who relies on ideas and inspiration to create, and everyone pursuing personal growth and life-long learning.

“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”

Haruki Murakami

If you’re looking for inspiration for your own reading journey, check back from time to time. I’ll be growing this guide, adding blog posts, reading lists, and guides, to make it easier for you to find everything of interest, all in one place.

Reading Lists

I love putting together reading lists. I compile these lists by picking the books I’m most interested in reading from other sources: various universities’ comparative literature reading lists, literature prize shortlists and winners, GoodReads book reviews and lists, among others.

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