Randall Payleitner

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School Libraries and the Most Important Thing a Kid Can Do to Improve Their Life

I recently came across an instance (and since then, a few more instances) of a school district announcing plans to change their school librarians' focus away from books/reading and changing them into "Innovation Specialists." Uhhhhhh. What?! ...This trainwreck of an idea is still unfolding....

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What I Learned From the Seven Most Important Books I’ve Ever Read

When we read certain books at certain times in our lives they smack us right in the face. Had I read some of these books a few years earlier or later, they would have objectively been just as good, but perhaps they wouldn’t have had the impact on me that they did then.

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Where Books Usually Lose People

I was going to start writing about how to keep a reader interested in your book. How to make sure that page one is interesting enough for them to turn to page two, etc. But instead I thought it’d be more fun to flip the coin over and look at the places most readers usually check out… And then encourage the bookmakers of the world to address them with each aspect of their books.

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Don’t Treat Your Reader Like an Idiot

Authors of great books know it takes a certain amount of smarts on the reader’s end to be picking up a book in the first place. The great ones don’t start at the very beginning of time—explaining all the background details in order—for no reason. It needs to be less “classroom lecture” and more “guided historical monument tour.”

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