Library@Kendriya Vidyalaya Pattom

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Reading in Summer

The summer vacation is probably the best time to catch up on reading. You can create some time for yourself and sit down and enjoy all your favourite books.

There is a Chinese saying, “To read a book for the first time is to make an acquaintance with a new friend; to read it for a second time is to meet an old one.” So this summer make the most of your holiday and read stories that will open up new vistas of adventure, fun, mystery and laughter.

It’s summer again, and my bookshelf is filled with all the books I wish to read during the vacation. Through the year, I collect books and then during the holidays I park myself on my favourite chair in front of my bookshelf and read!

I have picked up some rather interesting books by Indian and non-Indian authors. There is a book called The Burmese Box. It was written by Lila Majumdar in Bengali and translated into English by Subhadra Sen Gupta. Actually it is a novella with two short but rather exciting stories. One, of course, is about the Burmese Box and the other is Goopy’s Secret Diary.

I have a collection of books by Ruskin Bond. What I would read first is Escape From Java and Other Tales of Danger. It is a collection of five stories, all about danger and adventure.

Have you heard of an author called Pseudonymous Bosch? His books are very different. Of course Pseudonymus Bosch is not his real name. But that’s the name under which he prefers to author his books. He has written the Secret Series. Five books, each dealing with one sense. His first book The Name of This Book is Secret is based on smell, the next If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late is based on sound, This Book is Not Good For You is based on taste, This Isn’t What It Looks Like is based on sight and the last one You Have To Stop This is based on touch. I couldn’t get all the five, though I did manage to pick up This Book Is Not Good For You. It’s all about chocolate — but believe me, it’s not sweet and syrupy!

Great variety

I managed to find a book called Attacks of the Volcano Monkeys by Wiley Miller. I really don’t know much about it but it does promise a lot of action.

It’s not only new books that fascinate me. Sometimes I go back and re-read my old books. And the ones I plan to read again this summer are The World’s Funniest Folktales, Just So Stories, Tales from the Arabian Nights, Pride and Prejudice, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and of course The Wind in the Willows. A friend gifted me with a book called The Pearls of Wisdom. It is set in the water world and there are characters like a Black Magi and a Secret Service vampire agent called Count Drunkula, Va- Suki a thousand headed serpent and more. Should be fun I think.

I wonder if you have heard about Feluda? He is a detective created by Satyajit Ray. Feluda and his cousin Topshe stumble upon one mystery after another. Feluda with his super-sharp brain usually unravels the secret and finds the truth. There are a number of Feluda books. The Emperor’s Ring, The Curse of the Goddess and Trouble in the Graveyard some of them. Don’t miss the Feluda series. They are amazing. Satyajit Ray has also written short stories. Words cannot describe these stories, as they take you away from the mundane every day life into something not only bizarre but sometimes even scary. He has trees that eat flesh and people who make friends with aliens.

R.K. Narayan’s Malgudi Days is always a favourite summer read. Set in sleepy Malgudi it takes you through the days of Swami and his

friends. It’s good to have a mix of genres and so Wordygurdybook! The Nonsense World of Sukumar Ray, could provide a few laughs. Scary stories are fun too. I have with me Jerry Pinto’s The Puffin Book of Spooky Ghost Stories. Thirteen stories of hauntings, frightening creatures and spirits.

The last shelf of my bookcase has all the old favourites. Gullivers Travels, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, Black Beauty, King Arthur, Doctor Dolittle, Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Best of Tagore – Kabuliwalla, The Scarlett Pimpernel…

I have also nicked some books from my mom’s childhood collection – school stories, mystery stories and adventure stories too. Most of them are by Enid Blyton. And I also found a couple of worn copies of books by Angela Brazil. My mom says they are school stories and she loved every one of them. I also have a few from the Chalet School series. These books were written by Elinor Brent-Dyer. It’s all about a girl called Jo and how her sister starts a school in Austria. These books are simply fantastic.

So that’s my reading list. Let me get started.

 

By

NIMI KURIAN

Courtesy: http://www.hindu.com

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5 Ways That Paper Books Are Better Than eBooks

By Richard MacManus

Note: this isn’t an ‘either/or’ argument, my main point in these posts is that each format (paper / electronic) has its strengths and weaknesses. Having said that, it may not be too far into the future when we begin to think of this as an either/or proposition. Remember that the future of paper newspapers is now seriously in question, so it may not be long before the same happens to paper books.

1. Feel

Paper books just feel good in your hands – even the best designed eReader is a cold, lifeless steely contraption by comparison. Paper books are also seen as "more personal," which was a comment that a number of people made on the previous post. You can become attached to a copy of your favorite novel, or a well thumbed book of poetry. I own a worn copy of the novel ‘Catch-22,’ which I have read a number of times since my University days – and no eBook could ever replace the memories it evokes whenever I pick that book up.

How can eBooks match this in the future? They may never do, but perhaps we will find that the features I listed in my previous post assume greater nostalgic significance instead: highlighted text, notes that you made back in your University days, and the ability to search and find all of this very easily.

You know it's a good bookstore when...

2. Packaging

I bought a poetry book for Kindle on iPad last week, but it turned out that the eBook was missing half of the image of an obscure painting that adorned the front and back covers of the paper edition. The eBook just had the front cover art, not the back cover art. This is one small example of how paper books can have a more beautiful package than eBooks.

Best cover in my LibraryWe could similarly point to book binding and typeface, both often carefully selected by publishing companies for their paper editions. It can make a big difference to one’s reading experience.

If eBooks are to challenge this feature, it will need to be with something unique and native to the electronic format. For inspiration, we can look to what Arcade Fire did with the electronic release of its latest album. As a way to try and match the album art and booklet available on CD, Arcade Fire came up with an artistic package it called "synchronised artwork." This enabled listeners to access imagery, lyrics and links on their iPod or iPhone while listening to the album. Some might say that it still isn’t as good as a CD package, but this is the challenge for electronic mediums – to come up with alternatives that offer something equally compelling, perhaps even more so.

Skip Knox summed it up well in a comment: "We need a new generation of authors and publishers who will create new art forms around the technology. We’re still at the point analogous to the early years of movies, when all they could think to do was essentially film a stage play."

3. Sharing

I noted in the last post that receiving marked up books from a friend is something that can’t be duplicated by eBooks – yet. Also, you can’t lend a copy of an eBook to someone else. DRM (Digital Rights Management) or incompatible eBook formats prevent that.

1984...meet DRMHowever, I have to think that both of those features – personal notes and sharing eBooks – will get figured out by eReader manufacturers sooner or later. There is no technological reason it can’t be done, it’s more a matter of navigating the always murky DRM waters and people getting used to new kinds of ‘reading’ functionality. Just as we DM people on Twitter or send email, sending messages or notes to another person via an eBook is a feature that would be useful and eventually well used.

4. Keeping

On the topics of DRM and eBook formats, not only is this an issue for sharing – but for your own future accessibility of books. As Adrian Lafond eloquently noted, "If I "buy" an e-book, read it, put it in storage, and try to re-read it in 10 years (since I "own" it) it’s anybody’s guess whether there will exist a platform or device on which that will be possible for that particular e-book format and DRM scheme."

Gwyn Headley added, a little cynically, that eBooks are great for books "you know you will never want to read again."

To be frank, I think the same risks apply to paper books too. I have misplaced favorite books over the years or lent them to people and not had them returned. However, eBook and eReader manufacturers certainly need to address this issue before consumers are truly comfortable buying them over paper books.

5. Second-hand books

Booktree & Biography CornerA few people noted that eBooks are still too expensive and that you can’t get cheap second-hand copies. Or for that matter, expensive first edition copies.

Similar to previous points, eBooks won’t necessarily be able to match this ‘feature’ of paper books. However, the price of eBooks will likely drop over time and become more flexible. Indeed, I picked up a copy of the full works of Emerson and Thoreau this week for a few dollars – cheaper (and much lighter) than I could’ve gotten anywhere else for a paper copy. We’ll see more of this type of pricing as the eBook market ramps up.

In summary, there are pros and cons for both paper books and eBooks. The eBook market is ripe for innovation and breakthroughs in how we read, so eBooks will only improve over the coming years.

In the final analysis though, the real value of any book – whether read via paper or electronically – is in the words.

 

Courtesy: http://www.readwriteweb.com

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Children Teach Themselves to Read

From

Freedom to Learn

The roles of play and curiosity as foundations for learning

by Peter Gray

 

Even within the same family, different children learned to read at quite different ages. Diane wrote that her first daughter learned to read at age 5 and her second daughter learned at age 9; Lisa W. wrote that one son learned at age 4 and another at age 7; and Beatrice wrote that one daughter learned before age 5 and the other at age 8.

None of these children has difficulty reading today. Beatrice reports that the daughter who didn’t read until age 8 is now 14 years old and "reads hundreds of books a year," "has written a novel," and "has won numerous poetry awards." Apparently, late reading is not inconsistent with subsequent extraordinary literary ability! This daughter did, however, show other signs of literary precocity well before she learned to read. According to Beatrice, she could recite from memory all of the poems in the Complete Mother Goose book by the time she was 15 months old.

The message repeated most often in these stories of learning to read is that, because the children were not forced or coaxed into reading against their wills, they have positive attitudes about reading and about learning in general. This is perhaps most clearly stated by Jenny, who wrote, regarding her daughter (now 15) who didn’t read well until age 11: "One of the best things that came out of allowing her to read at her own pace and on her own initiative was that she owned the experience, and through owning that experience she came to realize that if she could do that, she could learn anything. We have never pressured her to learn anything at all, ever, and because of that, her ability to learn has remained intact. She is bright and inquisitive and interested in the world around her."

2. Motivated children can go from apparent non-reading to fluent reading very quickly.

In some cases unschooled children progress from non-reading to reading in what seems to observers to be a flash. For example, Lisa W. wrote: "Our second child, who is a visual thinker, didn’t learn to read until he was 7. For years, he could either figure out what he needed to know from pictorial cues, or if stuck, would get his older brother to read to him. I remember the day he started reading. He had asked his older brother to read something to him on the computer and his brother replied, "I have better things to do than to read to you all day", and walked away. Within days [my Italics] he was reading quite well."

Diane wrote, "My first daughter could not read when she turned 5 in March but by the end of that year she could read fluently, out loud, without pause or hesitation." And Kate wrote that her son, at age 9, "taught himself to read" in a period of just one month. In that time span he deliberately worked at reading, on his own, and progressed from being a hesitant, poor reader to highly fluent reading, well beyond what a standard school would have regarded as his "grade level."

Such step-like progressions in overt reading ability may occur at least partly because earlier, more covert stages of learning are not noticed by observers and may not even be noticed by the learners. Karen attributes the rapid onset of reading that she observed in her son to a sudden gain in confidence. She wrote: "Over this past summer, son A [now age 7] went from hiding his ability [to read at all] to reading chapter books. In a summer! Now, six months later, he feels confident enough in his reading ability that I regularly get up in the morning to find him reading aloud to his sister. He even offers to read to his father and me. This was unheard of a year ago when he hid his ability level from us in his embarrassment and lack of confidence. I’m so glad we didn’t push him!"

3. Attempts to push reading can backfire.

Three of the people who sent me stories wrote that they at some point attempted to teach reading to their non-reading child and that the attempt seemed to have negative consequences. Here is what they said.

Holli wrote that when her son was "about 3 1/2" she began trying to teach him reading. "I think the Bob books are stupidly repetitive and inane, but I found ones that were at least moderately engaging and had him start practicing them. … He really was not ready yet, I think, for actual reading, and whether he was or not, he resented being made to do something that wasn’t his idea, so he resisted. … Pretty quickly I realized that in spite of the progress he was making in reading skill, I was doing more harm than good to my son, because I was making him hate reading. I immediately ceased formal instruction in reading, and just went back to reading to him whenever he wanted me to." Holli went on to note that, roughly two years later, her son "entirely surreptitiously" began to look at books on his own and eventually to read, apparently hiding his interest and practice so as not to feel pressured.

Beatrice wrote, of her daughter who learned to read at age 8: "I too am guilty of trying to ‘make her’ read, when she turned 6, worried that the kids at school would be learning this skill and not wanting her to be left behind. After a couple of weeks of insisting she read and keep a journal with me spelling everything and she copying it all out, she told me flatly to ‘leave me alone,’ that she would have no part in my scheme and would learn to read when she was ‘good and ready.’"

And Kate, a homeschooling mom in the UK, wrote, concerning her attempts to teach reading to her son: "By age 9 he was resistant to any English and reading became a regular battle. He resisted it and found it boring and he was distracted, so finally I got over my own schooly head and tried a new policy of letting go. I said that I would never make him read again or even suggest it…. Over the next month he quietly went to his room … and taught himself to read…. I had spent four years teaching him the basics [when he wasn’t interested], but am now sure that he could have learnt that in a few weeks."

4. Children learn to read when reading becomes, to them, a means to some valued end or ends.

There’s an old joke, which I recall first hearing several decades ago, about a child who reached age 5 without ever speaking a word. Then one day, at lunch, he said, "This soup is cold." His mom, practically falling over, said, "My son, you can talk! Why haven’t you ever said anything before?" "Well," said the boy, "up until now the soup has always been warm."

This story is completely apocryphal as applied to learning to talk, which is why we understand it to be a joke. Children learn to talk whether or not they really have to talk in order to get their needs met; they are genetically programmed for it. But the story, somewhat modified, could apply quite reasonably to learning to read. Children seem to learn to read, on their own, when they see some good reason for it. Many of the stories sent to me illustrate this idea. Here are some examples:

Amanda wrote, concerning her daughter who attends a Sudbury model school: "She had consistently told people that she didn’t know how to read until she made brownies this past November [at age 7]. She asked her father and myself to make her favorite brownies for her, but neither of us was willing to make them. A little while later she ran into the room and asked me if I would turn on the oven for her and find her a 9×11 pan (she said, "9 ex 11" instead of "9 by 11"). I got her a pan and turned on the oven. Later she ran in and asked me to put the brownies in the oven. Then she said, ‘Ma, I think I can read now.’ She brought me a few books that she then read out loud to me until she jumped up and said, ‘those brownies smell done. Will you take them out now?’ … Now she tells people that she knows how to read and that she taught herself how."

Idzie, a 19-year-old unschooled but beautifully educated blogger, sent me a link to an essay, on her blog, about her own memories of learning to read. She wrote, in part: "When I was something like age 8 or 9, my mother was reading the first Harry Potter book aloud to my sister and me. But, well, she had things to do other than read, and if she read too long, her voice would get hoarse. So, being quite frustrated at how slow a process this was, and really wanting to know what happened next, I picked it up and began to read."

Marie, an unschooling mom, wrote about her son, now age 7: "[He] found the incentive to become a better reader through acting at a local theater. He has always been passionate about putting together ‘shows,’ but now he is old enough to have real acting experience. He sees that reading is an integral part of this activity that he loves and it has given him a strong reason to grow and develop as a reader. He recently had a part in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and had to read and memorize Shakespeare. It took no instruction on the part of a ‘teacher’ whatsoever."

Jenny wrote that her daughter, who didn’t begin to read books until age 11, was able to satisfy her love of stories by being read to, watching movies, and checking out CDs and books on tape, from the library. She finally began reading because there was no other way for her to satisfy her interest in video games, such as ToonTown, and manga books, which require reading that nobody would do for her.

5. Reading, like many other skills, is learned socially through shared participation.

Observations at Sudbury Valley School, and at other Sudbury model schools, suggest that many children there learn to read through age-mixed play. Non-readers and readers play games together, including computer games, with written words. To keep the game going, the readers read the words and the non-readers pick them up.

Vincent Lopez, a staff member at the Diablo Valley School, a Sudbury model school, sent me this sweet example of age-mixed learning: "In the art room they are making signs to imitate a TV show that had just started. It is in my opinion, a dumb, low-ethics, media-driven, free for all dating show; I’ve let this be known before. In their own way they are processing the future to come. … but I digress. The jewel of this snippet is that the 5-year-old is attempting to read the sign with the help of his multi-aged peers. …Students learn because they want to get the jokes, be more advanced like the peers around them."

Nearly all of the stories from home unschoolers include examples of shared participation in reading. One of my favorites is that presented by Diane, who noted that her daughter, who learned to read at age 5, became interested in reading because of the family’s regular Bible reading time. Before she could read she insisted on having her turn at Bible reading, "and she would just make up words as her turn!"

Others wrote about shared family games involving words, or about shared television viewing in which the onscreen guide and captions would be read for the benefit of nonreaders. Over time, the nonreaders needed ever less help; they began recognizing and reading more and more words themselves. The most often mentioned examples of shared participation are those of parents, or sometimes siblings, reading stories to nonreaders, often as part of the bedtime ritual. Nonreaders look on, at the words as well as the pictures, and sometimes read some of the words; or they memorize books that have been read to them repeatedly, and then later they pretend to read the books while actually attending to some of the words. Pretend reading gradually becomes real reading.

In previous essays I have referred to the great Russian developmental psychologist Lev Vygotsky, whose main idea was that children develop new skills first socially, through joint participation with more skilled others, and then later begin to use the new skills privately, for their own purposes. That general principle certainly seems to hold in the case of reading.

6. Some children become interested in writing before reading, and they learn to read as they learn to write.

At least seven of the people who sent me stories said that their child was interested in writing, or typing, either before or simultaneously with their initial interest in reading. Here are four examples:

Marie wrote, of her son, now age 7: "He is an artist and spends hours drawing things, especially stories and inventions. So naturally he wished to make his pictures "talk" with captions, titles, instructions, and quotations. … There was a lot of ‘MOM? How do you spell Superdog wants to go home?’ I would spell out the sentence and five minutes later, ‘MOM? How do you spell Superdog sees his house?’" This boy learned to read, at least partly, by reading the sentences that he, himself, had written.

Beatrice told a similar story about her youngest daughter, who learned to read before age 5. "She learned to read from her desire to express herself through the written word. Starting from the time she could hold a pencil, be it writing a poem, a song, designing an ad, she needed me to tell her the spelling: ‘How do you spell beaver, how do you spell suggest?’"

Lisa R. wrote of her son, who is presently in the midst of learning to read: "His reading skill relates to his writing efforts. … He has written short notes and story titles using his own phonetic spelling. Sometimes he asks how to spell words for a note or a book. Through repetition, he now remembers some of these words."

Lisa W. wrote: "Our oldest child learned to read when he was 4 years old as a by-product of trying to find free online games on the computer. He would open the browser and ask me to spell free, then online, then games. All of a sudden he was reading."

7. There is no predictable "course" through which children learn to read.

Lest you leave this essay with the belief that I and the people who have contributed these stories have taught you something useful about how to "teach" or "help" your child to read, I assure you we have not. Every child is unique. Your child must tell you how you can help, or not help. I have no idea about that, nor does any so-called reading expert. My only advice is, don’t push it; listen to your child; respond appropriately to your child’s questions, but don’t go overboard by telling your child more than he or she wants to know. If you do go overboard, your child will learn to stop asking you questions.

Quite a few of the people who wrote to me expressed surprise at the sequence that their child went through in learning to read. Some learned to read quite exotic words, which never appear in the primers, well before they learned simpler words. Some, as I said, learned to write before they could read. Some seemed to be learning at a rapid rate and then they just stopped for a couple of years before progressing further. We adults can enjoy watching all of this as long as we remember that it isn’t our responsibility to change it. We’re just observers and sometimes tools that our children use for their own chosen ends.

—————-

I am very grateful to the people who took time to write their stories so thoughtfully and send them to me. I hope that many of you who have just read this essay will add to these stories with stories of your own, in the comments section below. It’s high time that we created a real account of the many ways that unschooled children learn to read, an account to contrast with all those rows of books on teaching reading that exist in the education section of every university library.

Finally, I can’t resist ending with a little story about my son’s learning to read. He was a very early reader, and one of the first indications of his reading ability occurred when he was about three and a half and we were looking at a Civil War monument in a town square somewhere in New England. He looked at the words, and then he said to me, "Why would men fight and die to save an onion?"

———-
Notes
*[1] D. Rose & B. Dalton (2009), Learning to read in the digital age. Mind, Brain, and Education, 3, 74-83.
[2] R. M. Savio (1989), Self-initiative in the learning process; and A. DelGaudio (1989), SVS Reading Study. Unpublished senior honors theses.
[3] A. Halonen et al., (2006). The role of learning to read in the development of problem behaviour: A cross-lagged longitudinal study. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 76, 517-534.

 

Courtesy: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/freedom-learn/201002/children-teach-themselves-read?page=2

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14 Ways to Cultivate a Lifetime Reading Habit

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By

Leo Babauta

“To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.” — W. Somerset Maugham

Somewhere after “lose weight”, “stop procrastinating”, and “fall in love”, “read more” is one of the top goals that many people set for themselves. And rightly so: A good book can be hugely satisfying, can teach you about things beyond your daily horizons, and can create characters so vivid you feel as if you really know them.

If reading is a habit you’d like to get into, there are a number of ways to cultivate it.

First, realize that reading is highly enjoyable, if you have a good book. If you have a lousy book (or an extremely difficult one) and you are forcing yourself through it, it will seem like a chore. If this happens for several days in a row, consider abandoning the book and finding one that you’ll really love.

Other than that, try these tips to cultivate a lifetime reading habit:

  • Set times. You should have a few set times during every day when you’ll read for at least 5-10 minutes. These are times that you will read no matter what — triggers that happen each day. For example, make it a habit to read during breakfast and lunch (and even dinner if you eat alone). And if you also read every time you’re sitting on the can, and when you go to bed, you now have four times a day when you read for 10 minutes each — or 40 minutes a day. That’s a great start, and by itself would be an excellent daily reading habit. But there’s more you can do.
  • Always carry a book. Wherever you go, take a book with you. When I leave the house, I always make sure to have my drivers license, my keys and my book, at a minimum. The book stays with me in the car, and I take it into the office and to appointments and pretty much everywhere I go, unless I know I definitely won’t be reading (like at a movie). If there is a time when you have to wait (like at a doctor’s office or at the DMV), whip out your book and read. Great way to pass the time.
  • Make a list. Keep a list of all the great books you want to read. You can keep this in your journal, in a pocket notebook, on your personal home page, on your personal wiki, wherever. Be sure to add to it whenever you hear about a good book, online or in person. Keep a running list, and cross out the ones you read. Tech trick: create a Gmail account for your book list, and email the address every time you hear about a good book. Now your inbox will be your reading list. When you’ve read a book, file it under “Done”. If you want, you can even reply to the message (to the same address) with notes about the book, and those will be in the same conversation thread, so now your Gmail account is your reading log too.
  • Find a quiet place. Find a place in your home where you can sit in a comfortable chair (don’t lay down unless you’re going to sleep) and curl up with a good book without interruptions. There should be no television or computer near the chair to minimize distractions, and no music or noisy family members/roommates. If you don’t have a place like this, create one.
  • Reduce television/Internet. If you really want to read more, try cutting back on TV or Internet consumption. This may be difficult for many people. Still, every minute you reduce of Internet/TV, you could use for reading. This could create hours of book reading time.
  • Read to your kid. If you have children, you must, must read to them. Creating the reading habit in your kids is the best way to ensure they’ll be readers when they grow up … and it will help them to be successful in life as well. Find some great children’s books, and read to them. At the same time, you’re developing the reading habit in yourself … and spending some quality time with your child as well.
  • Keep a log. Similar to the reading list, this log should have not only the title and author of the books you read, but the dates you start and finish them if possible. Even better, put a note next to each with your thoughts about the book. It is extremely satisfying to go back over the log after a couple of months to see all the great books you’ve read.
  • Go to used book shops. My favorite place to go is a discount book store where I drop off all my old books (I usually take a couple of boxes of books) and get a big discount on used books I find in the store. I typically spend only a couple of dollars for a dozen or more books, so although I read a lot, books aren’t a major expense. And it is very fun to browse through the new books people have donated. Make your trip to a used book store a regular thing.
  • Have a library day. Even cheaper than a used book shop is a library, of course. Make it a weekly trip.
  • Read fun and compelling books. Find books that really grip you and keep you going. Even if they aren’t literary masterpieces, they make you want to read — and that’s the goal here. After you have cultivated the reading habit, you can move on to more difficult stuff, but for now, go for the fun, gripping stuff. Stephen King, John Grisham, Tom Clancy, Robert Ludlum, Nora Roberts, Sue Grafton, Dan Brown … all those popular authors are popular for a reason — they tell great stories. Other stuff you might like: Vonnegut, William Gibson, Douglas Adams, Nick Hornby, Trevanian, Ann Patchett, Terry Pratchett, Terry McMillan, F. Scott Fitzgerald. All excellent storytellers.
  • Make it pleasurable. Make your reading time your favorite time of day. Have some good tea or coffee while you read, or another kind of treat. Get into a comfortable chair with a good blanket. Read during sunrise or sunset, or at the beach.
  • Blog it. One of the best ways to form a habit is to put it on your blog. If you don’t have one, create one. It’s free. Have your family go there and give you book suggestions and comment on the ones you’re reading. It keeps you accountable for your goals.
  • Set a high goal. Tell yourself that you want to read 50 books this year (or some other number like that). Then set about trying to accomplish it. Just be sure you’re still enjoying the reading though — don’t make it a rushed chore.
  • Have a reading hour or reading day. If you turn off the TV or Internet in the evening, you could have a set hour (perhaps just after dinner) when you and maybe all the members of your family read each night. Or you could do a reading day, when you (and again, your other family members if you can get them to join you) read for practically the whole day. It’s super fun.

Filed under: Reading Tips,

Bookmark designing competition-Results

READER’S CLUB

BOOKMARK DESIGNING COMPETITION

01/11/2008

0111200814511


RESULTS


SHIFT-I

S.No.

Group

Position

Name, Class & Div

1

VI-VIII

I Prathibha G , VIII C
2 II Aastha Rana, VII B
3 III Amritha G. VIII D
4 III Vinayan H, VII D
5

IX-XII

I Joy Sivakumar, X A
6 II Sachin R , X A
7 III Nithin T, X D
8 III Mithun Mohan, XI E
9 Consol. Salini Johnson, X A

Filed under: Reading Tips, Winners of library competitions,

Love reading, be a rapid reader

By B.S. Warrier

No barrier of the senses shuts me out from the sweet,

gracious discourses of my book friends.

— Helen Keller

•Dislike for reading: It is difficult for you to become a rapid reader, unless you love reading. You have to be a motivated reader who enjoys reading. You should nurture a positive attitude towards reading. You would have seen people for whom reading is as natural as breathing. It is a way of life for them. Though it may not be possible for all to fall into that category, you can cultivate an interest in reading. Often reading is a sheer necessity for discharging official duties. Normally, reading is our main source of information. If you have no interest, you will continue to be a slow reader. Generating interest in reading is the first step to speed.

•Poor vocabulary: If you desire fine comprehension along with speed reading, you should have a rich vocabulary. Every time an unfamiliar word appears, you cannot afford to run to a dictionary. You cannot develop a rich vocabulary overnight. There has to be sustained effort with the right goal in view. Special books for improving one’s vocabulary would suggest certain shortcuts. They may be followed. But that alone cannot help. Love for words is essential for developing one’s vocabulary.

•Lack of stamina: You may feel tired after reading for a few minutes, if you are not interested in reading. Even if you have interest, you may get tired after a few hours, especially if you are speed reading, which requires sharper concentration. You can however build up stamina in due course, by repeated effort. You should have the will to challenge fatigue as it sets in, and to continue reading. You try to maintain concentration, despite the feeling of physical exhaustion. Gradually you will improve your stamina.

•Word blocking: This is the habit of stopping at every unfamiliar word. This will prove to be a major obstacle to speed reading, especially if your vocabulary is not very good. A practical method is to guess the meaning of the strange word from the context and continue reading without losing the rhythm. Afterwards you may gather the exact meaning from a dictionary and confirm your guess or make corrections if found necessary.

•Lack of flexibility: Suppose you have planned to increase your reading speed from 200 words to 250 words per minute(wpm). You should realise that your objective is not to be able to read any passage at 250 wpm. That figure represents your average speed. You may have to increase or decrease the speed depending on the difficulty level of the passage. Some people have a habit of trying to maintain a constant speed of reading irrespective of the nature of the passage. This lack of flexibility is a serious barrier in ensuring satisfactory comprehension while reading fast.

•Back-tracking: Back-tracking or re-reading will slow your reading speed. This is different from regression. Owing to lack of confidence, the reader decides to go back and re-read the whole passage or a substantial part of it.

Try the Evelyn Wood technique, which is simply placing your right hand on the page and slowly bringing it straight down. This draws your eye down as you read. Go slowly and evenly, letting your eyes rake back and forth across the page as you go. Following your finger will prevent you from backtracking and keep you focused. This technique is only for practice. Once you get rid of the faulty habit, you start reading normally without the help of the moving finger.

•Too much of analysis: It is true that you should attempt the best possible level of comprehension. It does not imply that you have to analyse each word including its origin, or each idea to its logical limit. The broad objective of reading a passage should not be forgotten. Too much of analysis may slow your reading significantly, and it may even end up in ‘analysis paralysis’. Your approach has to be practical.

•Lack of concentration: Your mind should be totally focused on the subject. It should not wander. Since rapid reading demands full concentration to co-ordinate physical eye movement and for the complex processes of assimilation of ideas, there should be no laxity in maintaining concentration. Lack of concentration may be caused by absence of interest, attempting too high reading speeds, complexity of text, lack of motivation, physical pain or disabilities. If you feel that you are being distracted , take a short break and then resume reading.

•Procrastination: A hangover from the habit of slow reading leads to the tendency to procrastinate or delay the reading process. You should jump headlong into rapid reading, without waiting for a better moment. If you feel that reading is a chore, you are likely to procrastinate. Face reading cheerfully. If the text is too long, divide it into parts and focus on one part at a time. Fix deadlines.

•Distraction: Keep away from the telephone before you start a long session of reading. Never play even soft music in the background. Ask others not to disturb you while you are reading.

•ADHD (Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or Hyperactivity): It is a disorder beginning in childhood and gets carried forward to adulthood. Restlessness, inability to remain seated, unusual impatience, difficulty in concentration, trouble in listening, daydreaming, inability to follow instructions, making careless mistakes, getting bored before finishing a task and switching to a second task before completing the first are some of the symptoms. Three to five per cent of the population may have this problem. This has to be treated by medication or counselling.

We have listed various barriers to rapid reading. All these are relevant in any effort directed towards achieving reading speed. But advanced techniques become relevant only if basic requirements such as good vocabulary and a fair level of comprehension have been achieved by the reader. None can force another person to practise drills for increasing reading speed. Once the facts are presented, the desire should come from within the person. To make the practice easy, interesting stories or narratives should be selected. Complex prose or matter with diagrams may be avoided in the drill. What is most important is your determination for improvement. Perhaps you can schedule your practice at a particular hour each day, so that your self-imposed discipline forces you to practise regularly. During the initial phase, you may fear whether increased speed damages comprehension. Go ahead with a positive frame of mind; you are sure to achieve higher speeds through regular practice. You may also attempt rapid reading, while you handle the daily newspaper.

Courtesy: The Hindu

Filed under: Reading Tips,

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