In this era of multi-tasking and lightning-fast communication, it may seem nearly impossible to unplug – even for an hour out of the day. Yet that hour of disconnect can be your best hour by far, an opportunity to learn, to grow, to develop your working vocabulary, and to broaden your intellectual base for the kind of future that you really want for yourself. So, where do you begin?
WHAT SHALL I READ?
A regular and voluntary reading program will only work if you are reading about topics of interest to you. If you like sports, read sports biographies. If you like history – the Civil War, the founding of America, dinosaurs, the Industrial Revolution – you will find an enormous range of possibilities available to you, in your school or local library, through online subscription services, from friends. If you find a book that seems appropriate, but turns out to be dull and uninteresting after a chapter or two, don’t punish yourself. Put it down for another day! If you are not finding the right book, ask a friend who reads a lot; check online for recommended reading lists from independent schools or colleges that may be of interest to you; ask a teacher.
DOES MY READING PROGRAM NEED STRUCTURE?
Virtually everything worth doing requires structure. Reading is no exception. Here are some tips for starting a successful reading experience:
Find a comfortable and quiet place to read;
Be sure your reading zone is well lighted;
Try to find the same time every day for your free reading;
If you are in the eighth grade or below, spend at least 30 minutes per day on free reading, 60 minutes for ninth grade and above;
Choose traditional books or electronic reader devices, whichever you prefer;
Always have two or three books in progress at one time (sometimes, you just need a change!)
A free reading program – that is, reading beyond the requirements of school – may be the best thing you can do to prepare yourself for the best part of life: the life of the mind! In the meantime, it certainly won’t hurt your test scores or college prospects! Don’t wait until tomorrow.
- Is Old Fashioned Reading Really Important Anymore? (myiesolutions.wordpress.com)
- Kindle vs. Nook vs. iPad: Which e-book reader should you buy? (epicagear.com)