Guest Post: Lisa Salinger

Reading With Purpose

Originally Published on BlindAlive October 11, 2015, by  Lisa Salinger

I have been an avid reader for most of my life, and when I’m not enjoying a good novel — what some call escapism fiction — I’m reading books about self-improvement. If you were to live with me, day in and day out, you’d think those books weren’t doing me much good. The really unfortunate thing is that, for the most part, you would be right.

I will often be inspired or excited by something I read, and I have the very best of intentions to make it a part of my daily life. Then, I get really busy, or involved in a time-consuming project, or I read another motivational book, and all the fantastic, useful information I’ve read gets shelved, if you’ll excuse the bad pun. What good is it if I spend my time, and sometimes my money, on a book I think is the very epitome of transformational advice if I don’t put it into practice?

I’ve given this some thought lately and wanted to share some things I am beginning to do to get the most from my current reads.

I started by making a list of the memorable books I read but had never implemented. I did not browse through my download history, but just wrote down a few titles I read at some point in the past. Thinking of them made me feel a sense of regret that I had not done more with the material. I came up with three books, which I plan to reread in the near future. To keep this from being an obligation that leaves you feeling flattened, try limiting yourself to five or fewer books.

I resolved to listen to the author. When I come across phrases like “Practice exercise,” “Don’t read on until you’ve done this,” or “Make a list,” I’m actually stopping to do it. I know that if I say I’ll come back to it, or I half-heartedly make a list in my head instead of actually capturing it somewhere, it won’t happen. I’m sure the author did not just build in practice exercises for no good reason. It is likely that these same activities were used by the author to become successful in the areas about which he or she is writing. If I’m investing the time to read the book, I can at least make time to try what the author suggests.

I’m learning to slow down. Sometimes, a book contains so many practical and helpful suggestions, I read it through without stopping. It’s the equivalent of gulping half a gallon of cold water on a hot day. It will do some good, but the real benefit comes from taking it slowly. Now, I try to reserve my reading binges for fiction and take the time to live with a helpful book for a couple of days, or even a couple of weeks so I can really integrate its practices into my daily life.


Finally, I’m learning to take notes on what I read. This doesn’t mean I need to write a complete outline of the book, but I should at least jot down anything I find particularly helpful. I am reading more audio books than ever, and while they are great, it is sometimes hard to go back and search for that sought-after bit of information. Taking notes gives me quick access to those parts of a book I value most. What’s more, the act of writing things down helps to cement them in my mind.

Have you ever been so caught up in a plan of action or a premise that you don’t see its faults? Critical thinking has not come naturally to me but is something I have had to cultivate. I find that distilling the premise or plan outlined in a book to just a few thoughts or sentences is like shining a spotlight on it. The flaws are made more visible, and the gems shine like the jewels they truly are.

Do you have a strategy for implementing what you read that I didn’t mention here? If so, please feel free to email and share it, or post to our Facebook group. Here’s wishing you a happy, transformative reading experience!

F.E.A.R. In Real Time

“I never thought I could “go through that” until going through “that” was the best alternative.” ~Steph

"I never thought I could "go through that" until going through "that" was the best alternative." ~StephWith the exception of a minor situation a couple of years ago, my sight loss has been stable for the last eight years. So when my eye doctor thought my retina might be detaching I was a little apprehensive.

Around the same time I was waiting for my appointment with the retina specialist I was asked by Tosha Michelle to be a featured guest on her blog Everything I Never Told You. The timing was perfect to share one of my favorite posts on FEAR Guest Blog Post by Stephanae McCoy.

I’m pleased to report my retina specialist is recommending I have YAG laser surgery to be done by my ophthalmologist to clear the posterior capsule opacification (PCO) in my right eye. PCO is a common cataract surgery complication where the posterior portion of the capsule becomes hazy. This can happen months or in my case years after cataract surgery. As a matter of fact, I wrote a post called Clarity, Trees & YAG for when I had the surgery done on my left eye in 2015.

30 Days Week 3

30 Days With A Blind Artist Week #3



Skipped walking with daughter 1 again. This time she’s sick

Worked on new painting. This one can be worked on with my Acrobat magnifier.

Daughter 2 came and got me so she could color and cut my hair. Her car decided to go on the fritz so I had to stay at her house until hub came home from going to the movies with our son. While there grandson 1 went and got a book he determined had large enough type for me to read. I have pretty much gotten over the fact that I stumble a bit when reading due to my vision. I used to worry that I sounded like I didn’t know how to read. If I’m not willing to struggle through it, though, what does that tell him as he learns how to read himself.

Day 14

Morning class cancelled by student due to family…

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Fabulous, Functional & Frugal Fashion Tip #19

Multi-Purpose Dry Skincare Solution

3.5 oz. jar of Aquaphor advanced therapy healing ointmentI don’t know how true it is but I heard a rumor that spring is just around the corner. Call me a skeptic but when it’s looking like a winter wonderland outdoors, well, methinks we’re being duped.

For over a year I debated on trying a product I believe was touted as being a miracle cure to dry and cracked skin. One of the things I’ve noted as I’ve gotten older is my skin tends to be on the drier side and cold weather has a tendency to make it worse.

I can endure many things but dry skin isn’t one of them and dry feet drives me up the wall. It was time to give in and try Aquaphor Advanced Therapy Healing Ointment. To my delight, after three days of applying a generous amount on my feet at night and then putting on a pair of socks, my tootsies felt soft and smooth.

When I first heard Aquaphor was good on extremely dry skin and it could also be used on the face, lips, elbows, knees, hands, and feet I thought it might be worth a try. The ultimate factor that convinced me was learning it creates a breathable barrier on the skin that retains moisture. On a scale of 1-5, I give it a 5 with the following pros and cons.


  • fragrance-free
  • soothing on chapped lips
  • makes feet feel soft & smooth
  • can be used on minor skin irritations, cuts & scrapes
  • no preservatives


  • while wonderful on lips, feet, and elbows it feels greasy on my hands but I give it 5 rating because my feet were so dry and it works very well