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Old 08-17-2011, 04:32 PM
15,208 posts, read 8,491,519 times
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Originally Posted by mitopcat View Post
Now, 10 years after high school, I found a book series that I can't put down. I smack myself now after reading the book, understanding what it can do for the reader.

I know it's only one book, but I'm more proud of myself after reading it. I feel a little more intelligent. After I read it, I started looking up some of the words in the book.

I think, regardless of what type of book you read, you grow as a person inside. It really depends on what books you like.
Absolutely! When you finish the series, try looking up the title or author at Amazon - that will lead you to links with recommendations for similar books that you might like. Amazon and some other sites have several ways to find good recommendations based on what you've already read and liked. Enjoy your new life of reading!
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Old 08-17-2011, 05:05 PM
9,183 posts, read 16,588,900 times
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I agree with the above poster, that you should try to figure out the meaning of unfamiliar words from their context, and THEN go look then up so see if you're right, or close. It exercises your brain.

I read a lot and always have, and I like to think I have a pretty extensive vocabulary, but I still run into a word now and then that I'm unfamiliar with. I try to figure out what it means from the context--the sentence it's in, what the author seems to be talking about--and I guess what it means. Most of the time, I'm pretty close. I think my 7th Grade English teacher taught us this, and I've been doing it for over 25 years. when I see a word I don't know, I take it as a challenge that I have to learn it.

I'm 42 and I oddly just ran into the word "chanteuse" for the first time. From what I was reading, I figured it was some person who was an entertainer. When I looked it up later, I was pretty much right. (A french word meaning a female nightclub or cabaret singer).

Another option might be to do crossword puzzles every day. Start with easier ones (get a book in the magazine section at Barnes & Noble) and then work up to the more difficult ones (there are whole books of New York Times crossword puzzles). My boyfriend never even finished college, and we read about the same amount (few hours a day) but his vocabulary is even better than mine. I attribute that to the crossword puzzles he's been doing every day for year. He has a subscription to Collector's Crosswords, which has some pretty challenging puzzles. Of course, he knew "chanteuse" because he'd had it in a crossword puzzle once.
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Old 08-17-2011, 06:40 PM
169 posts, read 440,652 times
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I love reading, but when I moved from a non-English speaking country to Australia as a young teenager, I stopped reading for fun because it got too difficult to look up so many words in the dictionary, so it wasn't fun anymore. Plus the English books the school chose were boring (for me) so that didn't help!

However, my friend recommended an author for me to try, and then I couldn't stop reading! I didn't understand every word, but I tried guessing, and I only looked up words if it's really crucial to the plot line. I think what happened was, these were books I was interested in (murder/mystery/thriller) as opposed to the literature and Shakespeare and classics...

So I'd say, choose books from a genre you like! If you don't know what you like - what types of movies do you like? Do you like history? Romantic Comedy? Fantasy? Sci-Fi? Tell us, and we could recommend some from those genre.

I don't know how old you are, but for me, some are young adult (YA) books are too "young" for me now (I'm in my mid-thirties) so the plot bored me - I am passed those stages about what teenagers go through. There are some YA ones I do like - e.g. The Hunger Games.
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Old 08-17-2011, 09:02 PM
207 posts, read 396,192 times
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Originally Posted by mitopcat View Post

Anyways, I've tried reading books through the summer, something my mom suggested me to do. My first book was The Giver by Lois Lowery. It took me forever to read it and longer still to finish.
I actually enjoyed reading the giver. Only had about 43 vocabulary I had to look up. I remember before I graduted high school they did an evaluation on me and they claimed I had a reading level close to a 5th grade level. I was shocked. I convinced myself that wasn't true. I can read Danielle Steel Novels easily but the vocabulary in there was simple to learn. And then once I started attending college it was a struggle and I ended up flunking out. So now I am going to take online classes in the spring.
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Old 08-18-2011, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by fleetiebelle View Post
Lord of the Rings? Really? I'm an adult and a voracious reader. I tried for years to read the set I was given as a teenager, and the only way I could could get through the books was to throw them across the room and watch the movies. I'm not at all a fan of fantasy and found them a dense slog.
Absolutely agree. Tolkien is an author who firmly believed in using 300 words to describe a leaf falling.

However... I would recommend watching the movies first and then reading the books when you have the time. My daughter tried reading them, put them aside, and saw the movies. She later started the books again, but it took her quite a while since she kept putting them aside to read other books. It's a fantastical story tho, worth a shot.

The most important thing in training yourself to read, I think, is to find books that interest you. Don't read something just because a friend pushed it at you. The storyline has to appeal to you or it'll just be a struggle.
Good luck, there's a world of books for everyone, you just have to keep trying.
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Old 08-18-2011, 02:12 PM
Location: Pittsburgh
19,412 posts, read 20,214,667 times
Reputation: 38658
However... I would recommend watching the movies first and then reading the books when you have the time.
In general, that might be a good option for the OP. So many movies are based on books, from Harry Potter to Jane Eyre. Either watch the movie in conjunction with reading the book, or watch the movie as a reward for finishing the book. Then you can see if what you pictured in your head matched up, or compare and contrast how the movie captured the story.
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Old 07-01-2012, 12:52 AM
207 posts, read 396,192 times
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Originally Posted by UNC4Me View Post
Don't know if it's in your budget, but have you considered a Kindle? You can easily access the dictionary function to get the definition of any word as you read. There are tons of free books you can download and even more for purchase through Amazon. Some libraries loan out Kindles, so you may even be able to try it before you buy it.
i have a kindle and i loved it but it kept freezing up i gave up using my kindle.
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Old 12-03-2012, 04:06 PM
Location: The Pacific Northwest
283 posts, read 390,302 times
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Originally Posted by PinkAquarius View Post
I want to become a better reader. Sometimes it really frustrates me when I read adult books and I run into alot of words I write down and I try praticing but it becomes so boring. Should I just skip the adults books and just read young adult books until I can read every young adult book without stopping to look up a word?

You mean: "I don't read that well."

But don't worry; we'll get to that.
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:00 PM
Location: Middle of the ocean
21,277 posts, read 14,008,072 times
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You may want to try a Kindle. It has a built in dictionary (just highlight the word). Otherwise, stay with young adult until you are comfortable with that.
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:40 AM
Location: Bangor Maine
3,442 posts, read 5,125,339 times
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Don't let the words you don't know keep you from reading. I have been reading for decades and still come across many words I have never seen before. Sometimes I check them out and sometimes just the use of them in the context of the sentence will give me a good enough clue to just continue. I have come across a few authors that like to use many words that are not in common usage. I thinks them gives them a sense of superiority - IMO. lol Keep up reading and read what you enjoy. Years ago my favorites were autobiographys and biographys of people that I was interested in knowing more about. Lately my favorite seems to be well written Historical Novels.
In time you willl not regret becoming a reader.
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