Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Guest Post: Improve Your Reading Habits

by Heather Johnson

“Hey, have you read anything good lately?” It's a common question -- but do you ever notice how some people never offer to tell you about a book they’ve read? That’s because a lot of people have trouble reading. Sure, they know how to read but they don’t know how to read properly. If you need to get over this hurdle then consider these tips:

1. Read. That seems like a no-brainer, right? But maybe you just can’t seem to get started on a book or even an article in a magazine. Come up with a reasonable goal for your reading habits. Maybe you tell yourself you’re going to read five books this year and then plan accordingly.
2. Vary your reading. Even if you’re a fanatical golfer and want to consume every written word about the game, you’re bound to become bored with the subject. Read fiction and non-fiction. Switch from a biography to a detective novel. This will keep your reading fresh and if you’re not enlightened with a particular choice at least you’ll know there’s something totally different on the horizon.
3. Read with a pen. It’s often beneficial if you interact with the author. Jot down notes in the margin or write questions that you think should be answered as you work through the text. This will help ensure better comprehension.
4. Read a heavy book. Robinson Crusoe may seem like too daunting of a task to tackle. But if you start a long novel you might realize that once you put a dent into it you won’t want to stop. It’s challenging, to be sure, but it will be so rewarding when you finish.
5. Read a light book. Just as a lengthy book is good for your reading habits lighter books also make for healthy reading. There’s nothing wrong with reading a quick book or "guilty pleasure."
6. Pick up an old classic. Don’t always go for the hot new release that everyone’s talking about at work. Reach for a novel that has stood the test of time like Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. While you may feel like you’re back in high school, you’ll soon realize there was a reason teachers made you read these worthy books.

By-line: This post was contributed by Heather Johnson, who is an industry critic on the subject of Alabama teaching certificates (http://www.teachingtips.com/teaching-certificates/alabama/). She invites your feedback at heatherjohnson2323 at gmail dot com.

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