How to Read Good Books

"A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read." Mark Twain (1835 - 1910), Speech in New York, Nov. 20, 1900

Do you judge a book by its cover? If so, you may be overlooking a "good read". No matter how dull a book cover or how old, what really matters is what's inside. Here are some suggestions for unearthing some good books just for you.


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    Decide on what makes a book good for you. Do you like fiction, non-fiction, biographies, romance, mysteries, horror, adventure, or tinkering books such as how-to or craft manuals?
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    Visit the local library or second-hand bookstore. Browse through the areas that interest you. Pick up books that you might not normally choose because the cover appears unappealing or old.
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    Stop in at a major bookstore. If you usually search for a book under the heading of 'fiction' or 'non fiction', try checking out other headings. You might just find a book hidden there, that looks interesting when you pick it up.
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    Look for book reviews online, in newspapers or in magazines. There are often seasonal picks for vacation times and there are always regular reviews of new books. For older books, many online book stores have the comments of other readers for you to browse through.
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    Ask family members and friends what their favorite books are. This is a great way to build your knowledge about interesting books. Often the reasons given by a person who is explaining why a book matters to them will inspire you to want to read it too.
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    Think. Before you immediately take the book out, read the blurb at the back or a few pages. Don't get carried away though, because sometimes books can seem good but when you take them out they turn out to be not so good.
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    When you have found your book, start it. The best way to start a new book, is to be fully concentrated into it. This means no distractions, no interruptions and full attention. The reason for that is the start of a book is always the best. It usually introduces the characters and the key storyline/plot of the book. This is the most vital information that you need to know about the story. Read it! Try not to read it in long time periods, try to read the book frequently. Maybe you are put off by the idea of reading every night. Maybe you want to read every night. When you read, the best way is to be on your own so that you can pay full attention to the happenings in the story. Read in a quiet place. Other sounds such as music, TV, or people can be a distraction.
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    Everyone's different. Sometimes people have competitions to see who can read a book quicker. This is a bad idea. People can become too competitive. Some people struggle to read so much in a certain time period.
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    Finishing. Once you have finished the book, return it to the library. If it is overdue, you may receive a fine. Usually though, school libraries only charge a penny per day.


  • If your book gets boring, you probably don't like it. Pick a new one.


  • Be careful, reading can be addictive!

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Categories: Books | Reading Motivation Strategies