A Dozen Easy Things You Can Do
On Your Own to Improve Your Reading Without Really Trying
For each item, if you already do this, write "yes." If you have
chosen NOT to do this item, give a one or two sentence scholarly
explanation why you decided not to do this. "Because I don't
wanna" or "I don't like this" are not scholarly answers!
See your eye-doctor before you begin any new
reading campaign. Tell the doctor if you experience eye
irritation, blurry vision or headaches when you read small print or
for longer than 15 minutes. Make sure that if you need reading
glasses you have them up to date and that you actually use them.
Turn off the TV. Read in a room where there is
no TV on (audio or video), and no other loud distractions.
If you prefer background music, make sure it is instrumental music
(without vocals or lyrics). An alternative is to listen to songs directly related to the
reading that you are doing..
Read out loud at least fifteen minutes a day,
or one hour a week. Read to a child. Read to your spouse or
significant other. Read to the dog. Find a closed room and read to
yourself out loud. If you absolutely cannot read out loud,
occasionally sub-vocalize (move your lips) while reading.
Read when you are at your best, never when you
are exhausted and falling asleep.
Chose at least some reading material you
like, or that relates to your interests and daily life. Do not
try to read Shakespeare or Hemmingway just because it is the
“educated” or scholarly thing to do. Do not limit your reading to
assigned texts, research and studying only.
Make sure your environment is filled with books
Buy or build a bookshelf and make sure it gets filled up.
And, make sure that the books you do own are there to use,
not just home decorating accessories on display to make you look
Visit a library, bookstore, or online bookseller's
website at least once every two weeks. If you cannot afford to
buy books, at least shop for half an hour or so. If you can afford
it, buy a book you like. If not, check out books from the library or
read them on line.
If you can afford it, subscribe to a hardcopy
magazine or newspaper that you know you will read. Then read
it—each and every issue, but only the articles that interest you. If
you cannot afford to subscribe, find a magazine or paper of interest
at the library or on line and read each and every new issue whenever
Set a campaign goal for the next six months, to
read a certain number of books.
Then do it. Keep a list of what books you have read.
Make this a campaign, not just a "resolution" to read more.
Tell others (family and friends) that you are
beginning a reading campaign (or starting college).
Get them to encourage you. Ask them to buy you mainly
books for holiday gifts, birthdays, and special occasions. Discuss
with them what you have read, or are reading or studying, and find
friends with whom you can discuss serious subjects that you are
reading about or studying.
Take notes on what you read.
Keep a reading diary, log or journal for a semester or a year. Then
read back over what you wrote.
or other word games at least once a month.
OW 9/05 rev. 2/12
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