Archive for the ‘readers’ Category

The Lost Art of Reading, Writing, and Conversation

December 14, 2012

I am in the airport awaiting my flight. I am reading a book. I look up and around and see one person reading a newspaper (USA Today), a few  people texting on their cellphone, many people intently focused on their mobile device (doing what, I have no idea), one person is talking on her cellphone, a couple people are sleeping. No one is talking or involved in a conversation.

I think back 5 years and remember many people reading books, writing with pen and paper, and discussing events with others.

What has happened to our society?

Someone just pulled out “The Economist” and started reading it. That’s exciting.

I received this feedback from a learned friend: People don’t read except “tweets.”  It used to be that young people learned Latin, Greek, and the Classics in high school. Now they struggle to learn Remedial English in college.

Best reader in the world?

November 17, 2007

What do I mean by best? First, let me say what I don’t mean. I don’t mean, necessarily, a fast reader.

A good reader is able to take an article that is above him and bootstrap himself up to the level of the author. A good reader teaches himself new things by reading.

I have no statistics, but I imagine that a good reader can learn ten times more than an average reader. (Do you have any statistics on this?)

I read a lot, but I know that I still have a long way to go to be classified as a “superior reader.” How do I know this? Well, here’s how: I subscribe to several Internet lists. Oftentimes I read a list message and think, “Huh, what in the world is he saying?” I can’t begin to parse the message. And yet, invariably, someone else will be able to parse it, make sense of it, and respond. Clearly that person is a better reader than me.

Do you find yourself baffled by some messages, or are you able to grasp even the most obscure messages?

Who would you nominate as the best reader in the world?


Here is a related blog: The Best Are Much Better Than The Rest

And here’s another related blog: Good Books Are Over Your Head

The Best Are Much Better Than the Rest

November 14, 2007
  • One study showed that a mere 16 composers produced about 50% of the classical music that is performed and recorded today
  • Another study found that 10% of the authors had written about 50% of the books in the Library of Congress
  • Research on computer programmers showed that the most productive programmers were 10 times more productive than the least productive, and 5 times more productive than average programmers

Hard Facts by Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert I Sutton


I wonder how much better good readers are than average readers. I know that I am a much better reader today than I was, say, 10 years ago. But I realize that there is still room for a lot of improvement. For example, I subscribe to several Internet lists. Oftentimes someone will post a message; I read it and think, “Huh? What is this message saying? I have no idea what this message is saying.” And yet, invariably someone else will be able to make sense of it and respond to it. This tells me that I still have a long ways to go in developing my reading skills.