Reviews for Rise of the reader : strategies for mastering your reading habits and applying what you learn

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Hutchison presents a guide to optimizing reading. The author, founder of the marketing agency BookThinkers, advocates for increasing and maximizing reading time: Replace 15 minutes a day of social media scrolling or streaming Netflix, and you could finish as many as 20 books per year, he argues. Rather than turn to books for pleasure, Hutchison believes readers should seek books that facilitate transformation. “Life is too short to read books that are not going to serve their intended purpose,” he writes. With this in mind, he offers many tips and strategies for making reading time count. He recommends note-taking to improve recall and advises readers to listen to an audiobook while simultaneously reading the text. In addition to providing reading tips and tricks, he reports on healthy habits that he’s learned from books, sharing his experiences with each. These tips include drinking water, tracking sleep, spending time outdoors, drinking a morning cocktail, exercising in the morning, and chewing gum. He also touts standing desks, weighted blankets, white noise machines, air purifiers, Epsom salts, supplements, cold showers, intermittent fasting, and breathwork. Hutchison concludes with “wealthy habits” for financial planning and “happy habits” that focus on one’s mindset. The author covers a wide array of topics, from neuro-linguistic programming and the butterfly effect to SMART goals and the Stanford marshmallow experiment, all in simple language. But his guide presents books as just another commodity, and reading as a means to an end—given that life-changing books only cost around $20, Hutchison raves, “the potential return on investment (ROI) is insane!” (It’s even better if you source reading material from the library for free, but Hutchison’s only mention of a library is as a place to donate books you’re not reading.) Some readers may question the validity of statements such as, “Personal experience is a great teacher, but another person’s experience can be even better because you can learn the lesson without feeling the pain.” The use of bold and all-caps text, as well as the author’s desperate pleas for readers to leave him a review and share his book, detract from a sense of professionalism. A manic reading manifesto from an unpolished writer. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.