During my season as a teacher, I taught students how to choose a "just right book." In an effort to help them learn how to read more, I first needed them to develop the desire to read. Some of my students would choose books that they wanted to read, but the books were not "just right books." A "just right book" is a book that fits your ability level. Even as adults, this same truth is applicable. In order to develop a desire to read, we have to choose books that are on our reading and comprehension level; then we work our way to more challenging books. There are five steps you can follow that will help you chose your "just right book."
1. Be Honest: Yup, honestly is the first step to take when starting anything. No one knows your reading level better than you. Assess where you really are intellectually. Though you would love to read a piece of literature that will help you sound "smart" around your peers, don't choose something that you know you won't finish.
2. Go to the library. Yes, the library. The coolest thing about the library is that if you don't like a book, you can return it at no cost. You can also browse for hours and not feel pressure if you only take one book home. Also, you can operate in integrity and not read a book in the Barnes and Noble Cafe without purchasing. I know we've all done it. Stop. People work very hard to write these books and magazines. Purchase them or just go the library.
3. Read the blurb. This by far is my favorite step. I LOVE reading the blurbs on the back books. Whether they are written by the editor or the author, they always give you an opportunity to make a quick decision. You are also able to read the reviews from a list of writers that are endorsing the book.
4. Skim the text. Read the first page of the book. Using your "inside voice", read the first page out loud. It will help you decide if this is a text that you really want to read.
5. Commit. Even if you don't purchase or check out that particular book. Commit to leaving with at least one book. You have to start somewhere.
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