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October 2021

Post image for How to Level Up

I’m 41 now and finally learning to read.

Getting through novels is something I’ve always found extremely difficult. As much as I enjoy a good story, most of them seemed to take forever get to the straightaway – the point in the book where I no longer had to effort my way through the pages.

A few rare books would grip me from the beginning, and I’d finish them a couple of days, with no difficulty whatsoever. Perhaps a tenth of the time, I’d hit the straightaway after a hundred pages of dutiful slogging. The other ninety percent I would ultimately abandon. Almost everything in my bookcase has a bookmark sticking out of the top somewhere near the front cover.

There are few things I’ve wanted more than to be able to pick up a big book and read it in two weeks, like an average reader. Most of the “how to read better/faster” advice really just tells you to spend more time reading – carry a book at all times, read on the bus, read in the shower.

That seems to be the usual advice for getting better at anything, really: do more of it. People who are more skilled have simply done more of that thing. No amount of volume seemed to address my problem though. I “plugged away,” as advised, for 30 years, and the problem remained.

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