Empowerment Through Reading

Adapted from Chapter 10 of How to Say It for Women

Whether online or in print, reading speeds your path to smarts. This section shows you how to master speed and deep reading, developing the skills that count. Based on several decades of research and experience teaching advanced reading skills to adults, my system not only helps improve speed and comprehension, but also leads to clarity in writing and thinking. And when you get the knack of it, it’ll bring you joy.

Let’s start by considering the following question: Why can’t a woman read like a man?

Not that men read better than women do: they read differently. They read instrumentally. Let’s define instrumental reading as reading that serves as a means, a tool of learning to enable one to accomplish whatever she dreams of. Just as you can choose to wear a sequined shirt to the next party but understand that a bathing suit works better in the pool, you can choose Facebook to link up with your pals but you also can choose to read a biography of a woman who does great things in the world. Or set up a reading group to talk about articles or books that promise to help shape your life and work. Or ask for a gift subscription to an informative magazine like Aviation Week or The Atlantic.

Let’s adapt the quotation, “All books are either dreams or swords. You can cut or you can drug with words,” to say that we women read to dream but we must also read to cut, a style that involves not only what but how you read.