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How can I become more interested in Reading?


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21 replies to this topic

#1
Grizwald

Grizwald
  • 27 posts

Growing up I never enjoyed reading. In fact I can't even remember the last book I read all the way through. The only book I came close to reading all the way through was Wuthering Heights, and that was a tough one to get through. I couldn't tell you how many times I fell asleep reading through that book. I had to get through it or else I would have failed English 12. 

 

I have just never found reading to be fun. I always loved more interactive things like sports, movies, and music. 

 

I can read through educational books like history books. But that's it. 

 

People always told me that reading will make you smarter but I never understood the correlation or the causation. Sure people like Ben Carson read books as a kid but I don't think it contributed to his becoming of a doctor. I mean if that were the case then brain sergeants would be English literature majors.  

 

But of course this is just me kind of ranting. I actually do think that this might be hurting or hindering me from becoming more intelligent. I have been getting much better at my math skills over the past three years of seriously applying myself to studying subjects like College algebra and Calculus but my major in college right now is history.And as far as I know, seriously studying history requires a lot more reading than just history textbooks.

 

Not only that but I have also been wanting to read books like Atlas Shrugged but can't find myself interested enough to read it. I am interested in the story and want to know how it relates to libertarianism but the actual reading aspect of the book is bothering me. I just downloaded the audiobook and am going to give it a try while I'm driving (I have a 40 minute drive to work and then a 40 minute drive back everyday). But I have been listening to it for a couple minutes and am finding myself distracted. 

 

How can I become more interested in reading in general? Any suggestions?


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#2
hannahbanana

hannahbanana
  • 218 posts

Maybe find some good, quick reads to ease yourself into it? I've been reading all my life and love it, but even I would find Atlas Shrugged to be a pretty serious reading committment, so perhaps it might not be a good thing to jump into right from the start. But then again, maybe it is; that's your decision. There are some websites out there that are meant to give book recommendations. You might type in a specifier (genre, author, etc.) and it'll give you a list of books to try out. If there's some factor that you enjoy in books that you've read so far, maybe you could type that in and start from there. Here are some examples I just got from google:

http://whatshouldireadnext.com/

http://www.openingth....com/whichbook/


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#3
Ace

Ace
  • 56 posts
Well I think Wuthering Heights could kill just about anyone's love of reading lol. I love to read but hated that one in school. It makes sense that a lot of people don't like reading because their whole memory of it is that of being forced into doing it, in school etc. I really like audiobooks. I do most of my "reading" that way, I travel a lot for work so whenever I'm on the road I have some audiobooks going. It's nice because you can do it while you're doing something else. Atlas Shrugged is really profound, but I think deeper books like that are tough to follow as an audiobook. I took a class on Ulysses by James Joyce in university and there were huge portions of it I probably had to read 4 times, constantly flipping back and forth to the annotations to understand it. I think the key is to just pick a subject that interests you. The important thing is to learn new things. There's no rule that says you have to like reading. If listening to podcasts, watching documentaries etc. is more to your taste, that's fine too.
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#4
PGP

PGP
  • 320 posts

I have a couple of suggestions. I know someone who reads a few passages from the middle of the book first, then goes back and starts from the beginning. I think the reason is that alot of books, particularly fiction tend to have a long "setting-up" phase for the story that is hard to penetrate and requires an investment in attention. By reading some of the developed story first, they can determine whether the book will interest them and be of sufficient quality to justify the time investment. I don't do this but it might be worth a try.

Secondly, in alot of books I read, I find, even in the best books there is alot of detail and repetition, particularly in trilogies etc. Some of the best books I have read have involved skipping/speed-reading through long passages or even whole chapters. Some authors just drag particular scenes or occurrences out to ridiculous lengths.

Happy reading!!! 


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#5
Kevin Beal

Kevin Beal

    Buttercup

  • 2460 posts

I read things out loud sometimes so that I'm more engaged. I give myself permission to skip past boring parts too so that I don't feel like it's some chore I've gotta get done. And I only read books that I genuinely believe are going to be enjoyable. (I only read non-fiction.)

 

I also never enjoyed reading growing up. We had the Accelerated Reading Program in my school which made reading as painful as possible. We had to read at a particular time, books marked as being around our grade level, and tested with unimportant details about the book that only served the purpose of making sure that we read it, not that we took anything from it. I literally stared blankly into space during reading time for years resenting it the entire time.

 

I think it's important to break those constricting walls and read on your own terms, rather than according to what other people told you was the right way to read.

 

Try reading Stef's books and see how you like it. It could be that the books you were told to read were not books you would find enjoyable.


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#6
Wuzzums

Wuzzums
  • 586 posts

Is it all types of books you dislike? You mentioned you could go through history books so maybe it's not you that's lacking, it's the subject matter you choose to read. There's the possibility that the books you start are just plain dull.

 

Speaking for myself I find fiction very hard to read. I usually can't stomach it. Whenever the writer uses the medium as a means to describe a visual image I immediately give up on it. They can just draw me a picture rather than waste my time through countless paragraphs. Non-fiction educational books are far more engaging and entertaining for me. These are the sort of books people refer to when they say "reading makes you smarter". Most novels are text based cheap tv-shows, and nobody became a genius by watching tv-shows.

 

However there are books that merge the two together. The adult version of teaching a child lessons through hand-puppets. Among these types of books I count The Fountainhead, Catch-22, Candide, etc. These are novels I really like.

 

You mentioned you planned on listening to Atlas Shrugged and I will advise you against it. Strictly on a novel basis, that book needs to be edited badly. It's comprised of the same story retold for about 4 or 5 times so if you give up on it, like I did, I wouldn't blame you. The Fountainhead doesn't suffer from that. Even if it was written prior, The Fountainhead seems to be the finished piece with Atlas Shrugged being just the initial 4-5 drafts.


  • -3

"My common sense is tingling."


#7
Grizwald

Grizwald
  • 27 posts

Is it all types of books you dislike? You mentioned you could go through history books so maybe it's not you that's lacking, it's the subject matter you choose to read. There's the possibility that the books you start are just plain dull.

 

Speaking for myself I find fiction very hard to read. I usually can't stomach it. Whenever the writer uses the medium as a means to describe a visual image I immediately give up on it. They can just draw me a picture rather than waste my time through countless paragraphs. Non-fiction educational books are far more engaging and entertaining for me. These are the sort of books people refer to when they say "reading makes you smarter". Most novels are text based cheap tv-shows, and nobody became a genius by watching tv-shows.

 

However there are books that merge the two together. The adult version of teaching a child lessons through hand-puppets. Among these types of books I count The Fountainhead, Catch-22, Candide, etc. These are novels I really like.

 

You mentioned you planned on listening to Atlas Shrugged and I will advise you against it. Strictly on a novel basis, that book needs to be edited badly. It's comprised of the same story retold for about 4 or 5 times so if you give up on it, like I did, I wouldn't blame you. The Fountainhead doesn't suffer from that. Even if it was written prior, The Fountainhead seems to be the finished piece with Atlas Shrugged being just the initial 4-5 drafts.

 

Thanks. I'm still going to try listening to the audiobook but I'm also going to try reading more educational books.


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#8
Rainbow Jamz

Rainbow Jamz

    That Popular Anti-Social Guy

  • 1693 posts

Easiest answer: find something you like. 

 

It also depends on what mode you would like to read in. Would you rather have information shown to you or told to you? If you are more for stories and seeing how things are played out with principled (or unprincipled) characters, and the overall outcome of their actions, check out fiction. If you would much rather have direct information thrust towards you, read non-fiction.

 

Here are some ways reading makes you smarter: 

  • Increases your vocabulary - You'll read new words used in a certain context, and you'll usually figure out what they mean
  • Philosophy, self development, and reference guides give you directly what you need
  • But fiction, especially good fiction, has a way of teaching you without being conscious of it.
  • Through storytelling, you'll get a grasp of how relationships work
  • and more often than not, you'll learn about the world based on the various settings stories can take place in (if it's not the far off mystical fantasy stuff)

 Most novels are text based cheap tv-shows, and nobody became a genius by watching tv-shows.

 

Sorry for the downvote, dude, but this assertion troubles me. You cannot compare two completely different mediums and downgrade them both as "cheap"entertainment in which no one can become a genius from consuming. TV was actually intended for educational purposes when it was first created, but we can obviously see how THAT turned out. Still, there are quite a few educational programs out there like on the History channel or The Learning Channel. You know, when they're not airing Toddlers and Tiaras or fake mermaid documentarie.

 

But anyways, novels have a ton of educational value. Through fiction--provided that it's written well--you can learn a lot about empathy, interpersonal relationships, self knowledge, the nuances of different types of occupations, love, hate, joy, frustration, life, the world, society, and I can go on forever, but you get the idea. Sure there are books that focus on either of these elements as direct knowledge in the form of non-fiction, but fiction has a way of weaving all these things together and showing you these things, as opposed to telling you about them. 

Grizwald, I would like to know:

 

  • What are you passionate about?
  • What do you want to learn about?
  • Would you also like to be entertained?
  • What style of prose would you prefer? Being in a character's head, being a fly on the wall, or have the book itself address you directly?
  • What would your goal be from reading, what do you want to get out of it?

  • 2

You don't know Heaven 'til you've gone through Hell.

 

Nothing is permanent, only short term or long term.

 

http://www.yourwritetolive.com - implementing tips for writing fiction as tools for self knowledge!


#9
Wuzzums

Wuzzums
  • 586 posts

Sorry for the downvote, dude, but this assertion troubles me. You cannot compare two completely different mediums and downgrade them both as "cheap"entertainment in which no one can become a genius from consuming. TV was actually intended for educational purposes when it was first created, but we can obviously see how THAT turned out. Still, there are quite a few educational programs out there like on the History channel or The Learning Channel. You know, when they're not airing Toddlers and Tiaras or fake mermaid documentarie.

 

But anyways, novels have a ton of educational value. Through fiction--provided that it's written well--you can learn a lot about empathy, interpersonal relationships, self knowledge, the nuances of different types of occupations, love, hate, joy, frustration, life, the world, society, and I can go on forever, but you get the idea. Sure there are books that focus on either of these elements as direct knowledge in the form of non-fiction, but fiction has a way of weaving all these things together and showing you these things, as opposed to telling you about them. 

 

 

Yes I can compare novels and tv shows together. Not all novels, but a lot of them are written in such a way as if they're describing a tv show which is why I feel they're wasting my time. And here I'm not even taking into account whether the story is good or bad. There are more proper formats out there for overly descriptive writers than the novel format.

 

I disagree completely when you said novels have a ton of educational value. It's simply not true:

  • Novels have a ton of educational value.
  • Twilight is a novel.
  • Twilight has a ton of educational value.
  • You can learn a lot about empathy, interpersonal relationships, self knowledge, the nuances of different types of occupations, love, hate, joy, frustration, life, the world, society, etc.

It's kind of like saying:

  • Painting requires a lot of skill.
  • Posted Image is a painting
  • Posted Image required lots of skill

The fact that the written format provides the best information out there that will make you smarter does not mean it's the written format that makes you smarter per se. It's the information.

What phrases like "reading makes you smarter" do is to clump Ayn Rand and Stephanie Meyer together. Hopefully this is the first and only phrase ever written where those two names are in such close proximity to each other.


  • -1

"My common sense is tingling."


#10
Bortasz

Bortasz
  • 73 posts

Try different types of books.  I was having reading problem. Than my mother give me a Dune Frank Herbert. One year later I was reading 600 page novel in one day. 

 

You like description of nature? Try Tolkien.  You like description but like when something happens every 10 pages? Try Weber and Harrington series. 

You like reading how word is cruel for young beautiful white teenager without any personalities? try Twilight. 


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#11
Rainbow Jamz

Rainbow Jamz

    That Popular Anti-Social Guy

  • 1693 posts

Yes I can compare novels and tv shows together. Not all novels, but a lot of them are written in such a way as if they're describing a tv show which is why I feel they're wasting my time. And here I'm not even taking into account whether the story is good or bad. There are more proper formats out there for overly descriptive writers than the novel format.

 

I disagree completely when you said novels have a ton of educational value. It's simply not true:

  • Novels have a ton of educational value.
  • Twilight is a novel.
  • Twilight has a ton of educational value.
  • You can learn a lot about empathy, interpersonal relationships, self knowledge, the nuances of different types of occupations, love, hate, joy, frustration, life, the world, society, etc.

 

Ok well Twilight is commercial/mainstream fiction. It doesn't stand as a representation for what the rest of literature looks like.

 

To say MOST novels have no educational value when you actively avoid reading them is like the prejiduce I had against young adult novels before I started reading them. I was on the assumption that there was no cussing, they didn't deal with any real hard hitting issues, and they weren't allowed to get "dark." But it's been my experience that YA actually incorporates all those elements and more.

 

I learned about bullimia, what a gastral bypass surgery was, what it's like to have obesity, all different types of cancer (I read and watched "cheap" novels and films pertaining to it after my friend died), and like I said. If it's written well you canlearn a ton of things like you quoted me on, but not in the case of Twilight where all it teaches you is that you can be a lame, co-dependant, and lifeless girl, and the essence of love is put yourself in dangerous situations to be saved by some century old pretty boy.

 

I would go insofar as revising the statment into, "reading the right books can make you smarter." Again it's all just my experience, but it has been my experience that I've learned equally as much from fiction as I have from non-fiction. I have nothing against non-fiction and it's a direct way of feeding information, but I'd personally rather have the mecosystem theatre play up in my head when I read, rather than have my parts sit at desks like it's school all over again.

 

So Wuzzums, what fiction novels have you tried to read other than Ayn Rand's? That's pretty mainstream in itself and mainstream never ever represents an entire medium.

 

The fact that the written format provides the best information out there that will make you smarter does not mean it's the written format that makes you smarter per se. It's the information.

What phrases like "reading makes you smarter" do is to clump Ayn Rand and Stephanie Meyer together. Hopefully this is the first and only phrase ever written where those two names are in such close proximity to each other.

 

To me that sounds like, "the fact that they use distorition on electric guitars is the best use of the instrument out there that will make you rock out does not mean its instrument choice makes you rock out. What phrases like 'electric guitar makes you rock out' do is to clump Jimi Hendrix and One Direction together." Which is true on either account depending on your personal preference of music, or if your taste is so broad ot enjoy both artists, but that's usually unlikely. There's different levels of value between each artist. Jimi Hendrix is highly skilled at guitar and writes some beautiful, sometimes meaningful, sometimes highly abstract lyrics. One Direction has their stuff written for them, and it's usually about admiring some generic unspecific girl...but they're still skilled at singing and dancing. Skill alone of course doesn't determine value, the content itself must have meaningful intent in order to provide any value.

 

You're painting with a broad brush that because mainstream/commercial fiction is devoid of any educational value, all other fiction must be devoid of educational value.

 

I don't want to hijack your thread, Grizwald,so in conjunction with trying to prove my point to Wuzzums, I will list a few books as my personal recommendations.

 

  • The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore is the memoirs of the world's first English speaking chimpanzee. What I learned from it: empathy towards animals, particularly the ones taken in for lab expiraments. A fresh biological and evolutionary perspective on the human race and human lifestyle. How ridiculous it is to fit into society even if you're not a talking chimp, but how much harder it would be if you were lol. This book is pretty long, but parts 1-4 fly by because it's so engaging. Part 5 slows it down too much and I personally don't think it had to be there before coming to the conclusion in part 6 of the novel.
  • Fight Club on the surface is about two guys who start an underground boxing club, but at its core is more about fatherlessness and the effects of it. It also has social commentary on how complacement people are when it comes to materialism and social status. The narrator is a prime example of the effects of an empty childhood creating an unfulfilling adult life and how one can cling to other couples as if they are replacement parents. This is a much shorter and concise read, I would say start with this as almost every page has a quotable passage and has a narrative voice that's just as fresh as Bruno, if not more so.
  • How I Lost You is about a girl who doesn't know what to do about her waste case of a bestfriend. This is actually one of my more recent favourites by a YA author I've come to really enjoy the work of. Janet Gurtler's books invoke a ton of empathy as even the opposition to the lead may seem reasonable at times. The main character's bestfriend is a victim of rape and has the tendancy to go off the rails by acting out like getting drunk and hyper sexualizing herself for a bunch of boys. As you can imagine, she would develop a caregiver complex by wanting to be there for her friend all the time, but it usually costs her her own freedom and independance. If you like the delving into childhood history stuff here at FDR, I'd say you can't go wrong with any Janet Gurtler's books that tackle those issues.

  • 0

You don't know Heaven 'til you've gone through Hell.

 

Nothing is permanent, only short term or long term.

 

http://www.yourwritetolive.com - implementing tips for writing fiction as tools for self knowledge!


#12
Wuzzums

Wuzzums
  • 586 posts

So Wuzzums, what fiction novels have you tried to read other than Ayn Rand's? That's pretty mainstream in itself and mainstream never ever represents an entire medium.

 

You're painting with a broad brush that because mainstream/commercial fiction is devoid of any educational value, all other fiction must be devoid of educational value.

 

I read a lot of Stephen King, a couple of books by Clive Barker, Neil Gaiman, everything I could find by Kazuo Ishiguro, "Kafka On The Shore" by Haruki Murakami, "Price and Prejudice and Zombies" and  "Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter", most by George Orwell except "Animal Farm", classics by Dickens and Poe and so on, the Harry Potter series, a bunch of short stories by Asimov, half of "Dune", and so on and so forth. My favorite book of all time is Catch-22. It's the book that gave me the "aha!" moment and made me realize what the world was and no amount of Orwell and Rand manage to stir me like Catch-22 did. The fact that I love some fiction novel does not imply I love all fiction novels. The fact that I find most fiction dull does not mean I find all fiction dull.

 

Your second point is a strawman. I never once used the words "mainstream" or "commercial". I never said that all fiction is devoid of educational value.

This is the last time I'll repeat my point: if some novels make you smarter it does not mean that all novels make you smarter.

 

To me that sounds like, "the fact that they use distorition on electric guitars is the best use of the instrument out there that will make you rock out does not mean its instrument choice makes you rock out. What phrases like 'electric guitar makes you rock out' do is to clump Jimi Hendrix and One Direction together." Which is true on either account depending on your personal preference of music, or if your taste is so broad ot enjoy both artists, but that's usually unlikely. There's different levels of value between each artist. Jimi Hendrix is highly skilled at guitar and writes some beautiful, sometimes meaningful, sometimes highly abstract lyrics. One Direction has their stuff written for them, and it's usually about admiring some generic unspecific girl...but they're still skilled at singing and dancing. Skill alone of course doesn't determine value, the content itself must have meaningful intent in order to provide any value.

 

I think I understand where your opposition to me comes from. You compared Jimi Hendrix and One Direction based on enjoyment whereas I compared Twilight and [enter educational novel here] based on the quality of information inside. Dude, I never read the books, but I enjoyed the Twilight movies a whole lot. For me they fall under the "so bad it's good" purview. Why does something have to have educational value in order to be enjoyable? It can have both, sure, but that's not what we're talking about here. OP said he was not interested in reading and he could barely go through a fiction novel yet he could read educational books. I wanted to make the distinction between reading fiction and non-fiction and I said that I myself find fiction very hard to read too. If OP does not find reading fiction interesting then it might be the case that non-fiction is the way to go. I also wanted to point out that even if you don't read a novel in your whole life, you're not missing out on much (if any) information you can't find in non-fiction books.


  • 1

"My common sense is tingling."


#13
Brentb

Brentb
  • 186 posts

When you go to gym, do you put 200lbs on the bar, struggle to lift it, then leave stating that "you just can't get into exercise"? Reading novels requires a certain type of thinking and development of imagination that most people who read novels have taken for granted. 

 

Start with easier and/or shorter books. You can read a book of short stories by Stephen King, Orson Scott Card (Maps in a Mirror), or some other writer who's stories are solid and interesting but still fairly easy to follow. There are also a lot of great young adult/kids books out there - if you can swallow your pride. Much of generation Y developed their reading skills on the Harry Potter books. The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins is also a great fast-paced young adult novel, as also Divergent by Veronica Roth - to name a few.

 

You don't develop anything without practice. It still typically takes me roughly 15-30 pages of reading any new author to adjust to that author's way of writing before I can really enjoy it.


  • 2

#14
Rainbow Jamz

Rainbow Jamz

    That Popular Anti-Social Guy

  • 1693 posts

I know you didn't say mainstream or commercial, I'm saying it would've been more accurate for you to classify "text based cheap television" novels as such, as opposed to saying "most novels." I'm gonna have to look up http://www.yourlogicalfallacyis.com to see what strawman means again.

 

Anyways, I don't want to beat a dead horse into the ground, I thank you for your list, it has removed the stigma in my mind that you have a strong aversion to fiction as a whole. I'm sorry if it seemed I was cracking down on you hard, or at least going to, but if I were to be honest, it's just that I'm a fiction writer and I took it personally when you compared it to "cheap TV."

 

You're right, educational doesn't have to mean enjoyable or vice versa, but they're usually a great combination. They kind of contribute to eachother in the end. I thought UPB was boring at first, but it was very educational, but when the whole concept clicked and I had my "aha!" moment with it, I think that's where I enjoyed it. Likewise I was initially entertained by Fight Club and didn't find any meaning in it until I paid closer attention to the whole parenting theme in it.

 

I think we're at an understanding here, so I'd like to end this debate at this point and leave the space for this thread for more help on Grizwald's interest in wanting to read more.


  • 0

You don't know Heaven 'til you've gone through Hell.

 

Nothing is permanent, only short term or long term.

 

http://www.yourwritetolive.com - implementing tips for writing fiction as tools for self knowledge!


#15
J-William

J-William
  • 1320 posts

I think this thread is doing alright for solid advice...

 

So I'll just give you my experience which is quite opposite yours, but similar :-D

 

When I was a kid I just devoured books. The library had a reading program where you read some books and got some small prize, and they had a little pamphlet to fill out. it took somewhere around 5-7 books to fill it out, but they had an extra page for the high acheivers which went up to like 30 books. I filled that up almost every summer.

 

in 4th grade we had to do book reports, but only based on the book length. I didn't like writing that stuff, so I wrote mine on Moby Dick which was exactly 600 pages (we were required to do reports on 6 100pg books or whatever length to get to 600 total pages) I found Moby Dick to be dreadfully boring and so never read it, but Boy's Life had a comic version of the story that I wrote the report from.

 

in 5th grade everyone was raving about the lord of the rings... I finally read them and wondered what the fuss was about (and they were kinda boring)

In 6th grade I read straight through The Grapes of Wrath (and still didn't get the reference from TMNT)

In 8th grade I found a copy of Atlas Shrugged sitting around our house and read through it (skipping a good chunk of the middle.)

 

Anyhow. as a kid I read hundreds of books. Since I've become an adult things have slowed down (being busy can do that). I find that I don't have any interest in re-reading books. I also find it hard to find something I want to read. I tried reading "Game of thrones" and found it far too grotesquely violent and statist in the first chapter.

 

I've wanted to read Les Miserables, but even though I no longer had to cart around a five pound book to read it I just can't motivate myself (I've already seen the movie, and know what happens..) Honestly it's so long... but I guess that's what happens when you pay a wordy writer by the word..

 

Honestly the last thing that really caught my interest were the works of Phillip K. Dick... and after reading all of them (ok I skipped some longer more boring stuff...) I am desperate for something and I've never trusted popular opinion on adult fiction. It's more interesting to me to read Harry Potter.

 

the advice I'd give is don't be too proud. read Harry potter or some sci-fi paperback, or a dime-store detective novel... whatever it takes to hold your attention. Ayn Rand was a big fan of Mickey Spillane, and I agree he wrote some fun detective novels. 

 

whatever gets your juices flowing in movies or other media is a great place to start in reading, even if it's just comic books!


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#16
Rainbow Jamz

Rainbow Jamz

    That Popular Anti-Social Guy

  • 1693 posts

yes J-William that's great advice. That's quite the history of bookworming you got there too1

 

But yeah, don't be too proud to even start off simple. A lot of adult literary fiction can get heady and wordy, and fantasy gets too descriptive on violence and world building. I got over my pride and now I'm totally into contemporary young adult novels. Stuff that takes place in modern times to everyday people interest me more than sorcery and sword battles. Anybody can relate to the teenage experience, it's pretty universal and easy to relate to. 


  • 0

You don't know Heaven 'til you've gone through Hell.

 

Nothing is permanent, only short term or long term.

 

http://www.yourwritetolive.com - implementing tips for writing fiction as tools for self knowledge!


#17
AustinJames

AustinJames
  • 292 posts

People always told me that reading will make you smarter but I never understood the correlation or the causation. 

 

http://www.csun.edu/...or the Mind.pdf

 

"Reading has cognitive consequences that extend beyond its immediate task of lifting meaning from a particular passage.  Furthermore, these consequences are reciprocal and exponential in nature."

 

Also, if you have access to JSTOR through your school:

 

http://www.jstor.org...=21104567536603

 

 

 

 I have been getting much better at my math skills over the past three years of seriously applying myself to studying subjects like College algebra and Calculus but my major in college right now is history.  And as far as I know, seriously studying history requires a lot more reading than just history textbooks.

 

 

...I just downloaded the audiobook and am going to give it a try while I'm driving (I have a 40 minute drive to work and then a 40 minute drive back everyday). But I have been listening to it for a couple minutes and am finding myself distracted. 

 

In order to improve your reading experience, you need to improve your reading skills.  If you wanted to learn trigonometry, you would not master the concepts, or improve your experience, by listening to lectures on your commute.  In order to improve your reading skills, you need the same intense focus you dedicated to learning mathematics.

 

One of the best ways to improve your experience is to improve your reading speed and comprehension.  There are free tests available online, as well some programs you can purchase to help you achieve this.

 

http://www.readingsoft.com/

http://englishtestst...=236&Itemid=286

http://www.freereadi...ading-test.html

http://www.execuread...ehension-tests/

 

I have found it very empowering to increase my reading speed.  My current goal is to double my speed (from 350 to 700 wpm) while maintaining at least 80% comprehension.  I still read some things slowly (for the sake of editing, for instance, or chewing through tough concepts) but I've found my enthusiasm for reading (though already high) has skyrocketed with the prospect of improvement.

 

Audiobooks do have their place, of course, but their use must be supplemental to your higher goals in reading.  I listen to audiobooks all the time, and I never hesitate to listen to a passage ten times if that's what it takes for me to absorb the meaning.  Circumstances permitting, I listen to the audiobook while following along in the text, which I find greatly improves my comprehension.


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#18
J-William

J-William
  • 1320 posts

 Circumstances permitting, I listen to the audiobook while following along in the text, which I find greatly improves my comprehension.

Amazon has a system setup to make that even easier. I think you can have it automatically turrn the pages in the Kindle app on yuor phone while it reads (as long as someone has gone through and done the work to make them work together)... I imagine it's awesome, though I haven't tried it myself.

 

but, this is excellent advice. It's a common method in second language learning, along with reading or listening to the content in your native language and then reading in the target language. It really improves comprehension when you're already familiar with the material. I've been trying to improve my reading comprehension in Chinese. I find that books I've read (like Harry Potter) I can zip through at a relatively comfortable pace, whereas books I've never read in English are super slow reading in Chinese.

Basically I can read the English version and the Chinese version in less time than it would take to trudge through the Chinese version alone. You should see similar results if you listen to the audiobook first and then try reading the book.

 

Audiobooks are great, don't be discouraged. I Originally listened to the Hitchhiker's guide books as audiobooks while we were driving to Colorado for vacation, they were like a fever dream, but on going to the library and actually reading the books they made a whole lot less sense ;)


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Please check out my game "Hungry Blob", it's a pleasant time-waster. https://itunes.apple...d923740806?mt=8    :thanks:

“Good men don’t serve in the army.  Good iron doesn’t get turned into nails.”- Chinese saying

 
 

#19
John CEFD

John CEFD
  • 10 posts

Until i was 19 i had never enjoyed reading, i would fall asleep [color=rgb(0,0,0);font-family:Verdana, Arial, Tahoma, Calibri, Geneva, sans-serif;font-size:13px;background-color:rgb(250,250,250)]halfway through and just quit. I don't really know why, but maybe it was because of my anxiety problem that i've turned myself to books, especially classical literature, as a way to focus on something else. It really helped, i got through my problem and what was supposed to be just a short-lived help became a hobby. I would say to you that, if you wanna become more interested in reading, you should have a reasong for it, not to just read for the sake of reading, but doing it as something that is really worth doing.[/color]
 

[color=rgb(0,0,0);font-family:Verdana, Arial, Tahoma, Calibri, Geneva, sans-serif;font-size:13px;background-color:rgb(250,250,250)]All in all, it might help you start reading short but intense books. Take a look at Dostoevsky's Notes from Underground, a short novel with intense psychological narrative per page.[/color]


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#21
Rainbow Jamz

Rainbow Jamz

    That Popular Anti-Social Guy

  • 1693 posts

Been a while since this thread started, how has you experience with reading been since, grizwald?


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You don't know Heaven 'til you've gone through Hell.

 

Nothing is permanent, only short term or long term.

 

http://www.yourwritetolive.com - implementing tips for writing fiction as tools for self knowledge!


#22
Triangle

Triangle
  • 5 posts

It's been mentioned before in this thread in passing but it's really simple how to like reading: read books you like reading. If the only books you ever read are what public school shoves down your throat then of course you won't like reading. Try the following books: Ender's Game and its sequels, The Wheel of Time series, the Pendragon series, The Chronicles of Narnia series, The Lord of the Rings, and A Wrinkle in Time and its sequels. If you don't like any of those, I'm sure there's SOMEthing out there you would like to read.


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