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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

I Want To Be a Better Reader

Mrs Rocket Scientist from Both Eyes Book Blog wrote a WONDERFUL post on her blog titled: Yeah, but do you remember all 500?

She read 500 books in 2009, and was questioned whether she really remembered the books she read.

Something she said that I want to remind myself when I read:
  • ‘What was the author trying to say?  Why did he write this book?’

  • I notice I’ll describe the book in a completely different style if I’m in the first few chapters than if I’m close to the end... “This guy survived 9/11, and his wife is conducing a writing workshop for Alzheimer’s patients.”  (Falling Man by Don DeLillo).  At the end, I would say something more like, “It’s about an existential crisis and the power of art.”

  • Each time I put a book down, I summarize it in my mind.  (When we start Family Reading Hour every night, I ask, “Okay, so where were we?” and force my audience to recap the plot points from last night).

  • Periodically I will go through the entire list, and every so often I’ll skim down the previous year’s, too.  The goal is to try to recall the cover art, where I got the book, and what was going on when I read it, as well as who the characters were and what they were doing.  Occasionally this will bring out connections across books, like similar titles or time periods... Daisy Chains.  This is where I’ll notice something random that connects one book to another 

  • it has the advantages of concentrating your attention more on each individual book, enhancing your ability to evaluate in advance whether something is likely to be your type of book, and revealing layers and levels within your reading that you’d never before realized were there to appreciate.

    I do usually read one book at a time (unless I'm almost done with a book, then I'll bring a new book to work the next day to read at lunch and on the bus, as I don't want to be without a book to read when I could!). And I also reserve books a lot at the library - we have a limit of 30 and I almost always have 30 reserved (though some are movies/TV shows). I hate it though when all my reserved items come at the same time and can't renew them! Guess I will have to read faster :)

    Ha, and I did gain weight. So now I can blame weight gain on reading and not sleeping enough (sometimes due to staying up late to read) :p

    2 comments:

    1. Interesting post. Don't know if I can remember every book I've read, but do remember the ones I really enjoyed.

      The same thing happens to me with library holds...they all seem to come in at the same time! And half of them are new releases, so can't renew them. Guess we'll both just have to start reading faster! *L*

      Happy reading!

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    2. @Alexia561 - I definitely don't remember everything I read, especially fictions that I read for "fun" (e.g. murder/mystery). I guess that's why I want to blog, so I can remember what I read :)

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