How to Give Yourself a Literary Education Using Simple Habits That Add up

Want to self-study literature but are having trouble creating your study plan?

This article will help.

I like self-education plans that are sustainable and impactful, that consist of simple habits that add up to spectacular results over time. 

Here’s an example — how to give yourself an education in classic literature with daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly habits. 

It’s based slightly on Ray Bradbury’s advice to aspiring writers

Here it is: 



  • Pick the poem, essay, or short story you liked best. 
  • Read or watch an interpretation and analysis of it. 
  • Write a review of the chosen literary artifact.  


  • Read one classic novel (or play). 
  • Watch one lecture (or read one article) about that novel. 
  • Review the classic novel. 


  • Read one book of literary criticism. 

I did something similar to this a few years ago and it did wonders for my growth as a reader and writer. 

If you keep this up, at the end of a year, you’ll have read 12 classic novels, 365 short stories, 365 poems, 365 essays, and 4 books in the category of literary criticism. 

And you’ll have written 12 novel reviews and 52 other reviews. Why’s that important? Read why book reviews are a great learning tool to find out. 

Overall, after this year, you’ll have given yourself an incredible literary education. 

So consider trying it out, or tweaking it to fit your interests and schedule. 

Happy reading! 

Oh, and if you want some books that I wish I’d read when first starting out on my journey, check out my 14-book DIY literature curriculum


After graduating college with an econ degree I realized I was still anything but well-educated. Over the last 4 years, I've been trying to fix that, autodidact-mode — by reading books and engaging in self-directed study across multiple subjects. On this blog, my goal is to share my learnings and help others get a well-rounded education outside of school. Education, after all, is a lifelong process, one well worth the investment.

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