Tag Archives: for beginners
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
If you’re in a situation where you’re called on to read out loud, but it’s not your forte and you feel like shrinking and hiding, then here are some great tips from speaking skills specialist and YouTuber Jade Joddle. I have learned a fair amount from watching some of her videos over the last year or two and thought I’d pass this simple video along to those who wish to improve their reading skills. This can come in handy if you’re part of a book club, bible study, or poetry reading event.
Happy New Year’s to everyone! Are your 2016 reading lists all made out and ready to go? Do you have reading goals set for this goal? Are you excited about what new things you will discover through the world of books throughout the upcoming year?
I enjoyed concocting a reading plan soon after Christmas Day, as is my end-of-year tradition. This year, I’ve planned more vintage classics to read.
I’ve also decided on a different reading goal for myself. Instead of choosing an X number of books to accomplish, my resolution is to reignite my love of reading again. As mentioned in earlier posts my enthusiasm has rather dwindled over the last year and half. I believe I may have figured out the cause, though it is still puzzling and strange to me. I moved around a year and a half ago and have not felt ‘at home’ ever since I changed location. In the past, I’ve so enjoyed getting cozy with a book when I had a room, a nook, or someplace special that I had created to read in. I have not had this in my new home. I know we all go through phases where our interests wax and wane, but for someone who blogs about reading and who wants to narrate someday I feel the need to get into a good groove again. So, this year I plan on repainting my bedroom, and be a little more purposeful in decorating. Hopefully this will help me enjoy my surroundings enough to feel inspired to delve into fictional worlds!
I also will be rearranging my daily schedule in order to hopefully make time for more reading. I have found that when I feel I’ve done a good day’s work, I feel ready to sit down to read at the end of the day. When I’ve been busy with appointments and other activities, I have a hard time winding down in the evening to feel much like reading.
Have you ever gone through a slow period in your reading adventures? How did you overcome them?
I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving! Now we’re headed on for the end of the year and facing a new one to come. Christmas hasn’t arrived yet, but this is about the time I start thinking about what sort of goals I want to set for myself in the new year to come. Do I meet all of my resolutions? No, but at least I can say that I think I improve in certain areas over the course of the following 12 months.
One of the things I look forward to near the end of the year is making my To-Read fiction list. This is where I sit down and peruse my notebook full of titles of fiction, curating a list of which ones I will aim to conquer reading next year. This event is a much-anticipated one, since it appeals to the list-lover in me! It also gets me excited about all the new stories I will be encountering, and gets me motivated to start over and accomplish my goals.
I’ve never been one to just go to the library and randomly pick out whichever fiction book appeals to me at the moment and come home with a stack. There’s nothing wrong with doing that, but it’s just not me. I like to plan, scheme, aim, look forward to, time, get excited about, wait, then read. This makes for more of an experience!
You can make your own list however you like. But for fun, I’ll share with you the system I’ve developed for myself over time and how I make it work for me:
First I sit down with my To-Read notebook (read article about it here). Starting with Page 1, I go through in order and write down any books I’ve still yet to read until I’ve made a list of 72 titles. That’s right, 72. Will I get all of those read? Goodness, no! That’s too ambitious for me as I’m no speed reader, but you’ll see why I choose that many in moment.
I may look up some of the titles on goodreads (or even create my list on there to begin with) to refresh my memory on what some of books are about and re-decide if it’s really one I want to read after all. Some of these titles have been in my notebook ever since I was a teenager and my tastes have somewhat changed over the years.
I never write down a book by more than one author for a given year. I like to have as much variety as possible. Gorging too much on one author’s particular style would become boring to me. So I skip a title in my notebook if it’s a repeat-author.
If I come across a list of books in a particular series, I’ll write down the first title, but skip the rest of the books and save those for other years. Some may not like to do this because by the time they get around to #2, they may find they’ve forgotten what #1 was about. But I don’t really worry about this for myself. (I can always go back and read my book reviews on this blog, after all!) If I have already read some of the books in the series in the past, then I just go with the next in chronological order.
Once I have my list of 72, I then make out a list on a different sheet of paper that looks like this:
…and so on for the rest of the 12 months. Again, in reality I cannot finish 6 fiction books in one month, but are you still with me? Next, I reassign my 72 titles to my new list, choosing which month to put them under according to what season I think I would most like to read it in (you can read my article on this topic here).
The letter A stands for the first half of every month (for ex., Jan. 1-15). B, obviously stands for the latter half (16-31). Since most of the books I read are titles I want in particular, my small local library usually doesn’t have them in its collection. This is why I utilize the interlibrary loan system so frequently. Unfortunately, I have to wait for a while, usually 1-2 weeks after I’ve place an order in the state library system, so I plan to order it in advance of immediately needing it. When do I do this? I estimate that about the time I’ve reached the halfway marker in my current fiction novel, I will need to order the next one on my list to give it time to arrive. That way I’m not in agony after I’ve finished one book, waiting for the next.
This is where my special system comes in handy! When it’s time to choose which book to order/check out next, I reference my list. What time of year is it currently? Let’s say I’m ordering a book now, which makes it November B on my list. I start with B#1, which is: “Arsene Lupin, Gentleman Thief,” by Maurice le Blanc. Oh, fun! Now I can order it.
Usually this book will keep me preoccupied for abt. 2 weeks, unless I’m being particularly slow-pokey. The next time I’ll be ordering a book from my list will probably be when it’s December A (which would be: “Nightbringer,” by James Byron Huggins) . But let’s say Arsene Lupin was a fast read and it’s time to order my next book and it’s still November B. That’s when I look up Nov. B#2, which is: “I Will Plant You a Lilac Tree,” by Laura Hillman. But wait. What if it’s unavailable in the system for whatever reason? Not to worry, I’ve prepared for this. I just go on to Nov. B#3: “The Amazing Interlude,” by Mary Roberts Rinehart.
See? It all makes complete sense now, I hope! For list-makers, this process is a joy that will probably take an afternoon and we will savor it the whole long while. For others who like to live more randomly, they will probably have given up on this blogpost a long time ago and are nursing a headache. 🙂
What are some of your methods for determining what to read? Share them with me, I’d love to know!
November seems to be a month full of birthdays of some of our greatest authors of all time. Authors like Stephen Crane, George Eliot, Robert Louis Stevenson, Louisa May Alcott, Bram Stoker, John Bunyan, Margaret Mitchell, William Blake, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Voltaire, Margaret Atwood, Oliver Goldsmith, Madeleine L’Engle, Jonathan Swift, Mark Twain… But my favorite November-born author is of course C. S. Lewis, whose 117th birthday will be on November 29.
For a limited time, courtesy of Hillsdale College, you can click here and sign up for a free online course studying this famous Christian author, philosopher, teacher, and apologist. The course is entitled, “An Introduction to C. S. Lewis’ Writings and Significance,” and is taught by Larry Arnn, Michael Ward, among others.
I hope you enjoy this offer, and I look forward to benefitting from it in my spare time as well!