THOUGHTS ABOUT HOW TO BECOME A BETTER READER

Now, probably most of the people reading this blog are good readers.  Why else would you be following a blog about books at the library if you didn’t love to read?  However, one thing we avid readers have in common is our desire to become even BETTER readers, and, with that thought in mind, I happened to come across the following article, titled 40 Tiny Tasks for a Richer Reading Life, and it inspired me to think about some other ways to a richer reading life. Please feel free to comment with your own ideas about what would make you a better reader.

Obviously, I agree wholeheartedly with the suggestion to visit your local library, especially if it’s been a long time. My suggestion is to wander through the stacks and stop somewhere you wouldn’t ordinarily stop.  If you’re a nonfiction aficionado, wander through the fiction stacks.  If you only read paperbacks, go take a walk in the hardcover sections.  If you’re a novel reader, try out the mystery section, or the science fiction section, or even the young adult section.  Read book covers and choose something that strikes you as intriguing. I personally feel I could stop in any shelves in our library and find something, maybe several somethings, that appeal to me.  You might discover similarly eclectic tastes yourself.

Where the author of the article suggests you read a book by an author from a country you’ve never considered visiting, I suggest you pick up a book like Nancy Pearl’s Book Lust and Book Lust to Go, open the book at random and pick a book she recommends on the page on which you land.  Her books are great fun as guides, organizing books by categories you might not have considered, and she’s pretty much guaranteed to recommend something you’ve never heard of before.

Consider keeping a book journal.  At the very least, it will help you remember what you’ve read, so you won’t take something out of the library (or worse, buy something) and get it home, only to discover that you’ve read it before (you can also ask the librarians to get the computer to keep track of your checkouts).  At its best, it could help you discover patterns in your reading, periods when you’re reading a certain type of book or a certain author, and other times when your reading turns in a different direction.

Carry books with you when you’re running errands, and take audiobooks in the car when you’re going on trips.  Even waiting in the dentist’s office isn’t such a pain when you’ve got an engrossing book with you.

Any other suggestions?  Let me know, and keep reading!

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