Reading for Pleasure

by / Tuesday, 18 January 2022

Have you ever wondered what the best way to become a better reader is? Well, the answer is, that you learn to read, and to improve your reading, by doing more reading.

If you read in your native language, this is true, and, if you read in English, this is also true. It is important to read a lot.  Do you like to read in English? How much do you read?

It is important to read as much as you can in English for a number of reasons. It is definitely not enough to read during the time you might spend having English lessons with a teacher in a class. If you become a better reader, you will be able to improve many other skills at the same time, such as vocabulary, spelling, writing, grammar, pronunciation, and many more.

Sometimes it can be difficult to read a lot. There can be a number of reasons for this. For example, there are often distractions, when we try to read. There can be distractions from technology, from other people, and from other background noise as well. Sometimes we are not motivated to read, and we feel it is hard to keep going. Sometimes we find the thing we are reading to be boring, and we don’t want to continue.

If any of these problems sound familiar to you, then I have some good ideas to help you become a better reader. These ideas all work well, as I have used them in my book club.

What kind of things do you like to read? There are many different genres to choose from, so there is something to interest everyone.  Here are some genres:

  • Science fiction Mystery
  • Horror Romance
  • Adventure Thriller
  • History Family saga
  • Crime Cookery
  • (auto)biography Love Story
  • Novel Short story
  • Travel Drama

The next thing is to realise that the level of the book you choose must not be too difficult. It is a common mistake to think that you will improve quickly if there are many unknown words. In fact, this will slow you down. Books that are too difficult are frustrating and make you give up. Here is a rule to help you choose the correct level of book.

Use the five finger rule: For every word you don’t know, hold up a finger

  1. Zero or one finger = it is too easy
  2. Two fingers= a good choice that is a challenge and you can learn some new vocabulary.
  3. Three fingers = also a good choice
  4. Four fingers= good if you like a challenge but might be difficult.
  5. Five fingers= a bit too advanced, so try an easier one first.

It is also important that you read a wide variety of material in addition to books. Magazines and newspapers are a good choice. Remember though, that you need to enjoy what you are reading. It is ok to stop if you feel that the topic is boring. You are reading for enjoyment, so you must be interested in it or you will not make much progress.

To get the most benefit from extensive reading, you should aim to read as much as you can and as quickly as you can. You should be reading at least one whole book every week, and more than that if you are at a higher level.

Why don’t you try finding a suitable book at the correct level for you and a quiet place where you will not be distracted. If you are wondering where you will be able to find a selection of books to choose from, you can look at this website. This is the one that I use with my book club. There are books at different levels, and there is a wide choice of genres to choose. All the books are free to read, and you will find many famous authors and well-known books included. English e-Reader (