What is Nightstand.com trying to do? Help people learn how to build a lifetime reading plan.
Simple? No. First, what is it? It's planning what you read, in what order, and where you do it... oh yeah, for the rest of your life. Sounds scary to have that much planning going on but it's really about knowing which big titles you want to read in your lifetime and not getting distracted by the latest diet book or TV reality series.
Where do you start?
STEP 1: READ!
Read everything and anything at first. Be a great reader, a hungry reader, an experienced reader. A reader who wants more and then...
STEP TWO: BABY STEPS
The New Lifetime Reading Plan by Clifton Fadiman
Just one book. Try starting here. Yes, this is where the idea came to me. Clifton Fadiman had it right, we need to make a plan for ourselves or we will be swallowed up or confused by all the books on the market. There are some great writers out there but how do you get to them? Listen to other experienced readers, find the overlap, decide what interests you, and a build a list. No a plan. Why a plan? Because lists get forgotten and pushed aside, placed under other lists. But a plan is something you keep all the time on your desk or in your backpack or your noggin or, yes, your nightstand. And that's why Nightstand.com is here for you... we want to help you build that plan by giving you lists so you can compare and actual interviews from celebrated readers who, if you read carefully, will help find your way to your own lifetime reading plan.
STEP THREE: MAKE YOUR PLAN (if it helps, LIST)
Nightstand.com can only offer suggestions but we cover lists and lists top books and find the overlap. Lists aren't enough though... we certainly have our own opinion from our own great reading experiences.
In the future you will see Nightstand.com break it down even more as the site develops. So be patient and please contribute. This is about community and helping one another. We'll give you lots of choices but you have to be brave enough to commit to some of them. And pretty soon you'll find that you'll be wanting to read books that were never on your night stand before. If we can help change the books on your night stand then we will.
So build your list, build it slowly if you want, but build it knowing you are picking from the best. Hey, there's nothing wrong with just picking up a book for a simple pleasure but be sure to make a plan to read these other great books we recommend.
STEP 4: 100 BOOKS
These are 100 of the greatest books ever written... yes, that can be debated and the list could be changed if we included other categories such as religious texts but for the most part these 100 represent the greatest stories or works that you absolutely must try and read in your lifetime. We are always open to your own list... in fact, we encourage you to submit your own lists. We would like to start top-100 lists for different categories as well. How about a sci-fi list or children's book list? All will come with your help. We are open to all recommendations.
Step 5: FIND YOUR PLACE
Now where is your place to read? And when we say place that could just mean state of mind. Get yourself to a place in your mind and body where you are prepared to read. At night, just before bed? Some people can do that and it's a good routine before slipping into sleep but for a lot of people it means reading half a page a night and getting nowhere in terms of really tackling that great book. It is one thing to have that book you've fussed over and purchased but it is another to just throw away the experience by not being prepared to read it. Be awake. Make it a habit to be alert when you read a book. Most people don't like to have to reread a book because they read almost the entire book while they were practically asleep. You wouldn't go to a concert that way, or a nightclub would you? Experiment at different times of the day... make time when you are awake to do your reading. How about you even set aside time to read. That way every one will know you have an ongoing appointment to read at that time of day. What's the point of the reading one of the greatest 100 books ever written if you can't remember what happened? Also, learn from the readers we feature in our site. Clearly, reading has helped them to get to where they are and maybe, just maybe they have come across something pertaining reading that might help you.
STEP 6: SHARE YOUR BOOKS!
Come on don't be selfish we're not on this rock forever, share what you've gathered. The most important part of this plan is sharing your knowledge and your books. You want others to gain from your experience just like we want you to gain from our suggestions. It should be clear now that we are talking about sharing your experience as a practiced reader. Together as a community we can help build lifetime reading plans. If it were not for the book by Clifton Fadiman we would not be sharing this idea with you. So grab a great book you love and give it to someone else. Let them know what a great read it was and how you experienced it. Tell them to read it when they're not tired from work. Tell them to read it relatively quickly so they stay with the story. Then ask them the questions we ask our celebrated readers because only in thinking about these questions can you get someone else to change their habits and start to build a plan. And after you've shared your books with someone else you'll start hearing others say "What's on your Nightstand?"
Now get reading!
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