An an outgrowth of my self-improvement, etc... I am becoming an expert in the poet Clark Coolidge. I already knew a lot about him, but a very simplistic idea occurred to me: to be an expert on CC, all I'd have to do is to read all he's written (he is very prolific). That would automatically put me ahead of anyone who hasn't read very much of him, or has read him sporadically. I own maybe 16 of his books, there are many others in the library, including the rare book room. I can also read everything written about him, since he is not the most studied poet on the planet. I share his interest in Thelonious Monk and jazz drumming, so there's that. I can listen to all his readings at the EPC.
What makes this possible is reading his works aloud to myself. While that seems an impossible way to approach the work of someone who's written thousands of pages, it turns out to be perfect. All I need to do is to spend some time every day reading his poetry aloud to myself. Otherwise, the process would be much less clear-cut: I would take down books and read things randomly without full attention to anything in particular. I'd never know what I had really read.