Well, it is that time of year again. My kids are off to school and I am excited to begin writing a brand new book. I will be creating the book through this blog and you will have free access to all of it’s content here. This book/blog series is called Seven Habits of Highly Effective Readers and will give you information on what you can do to create an avid reader.
So far we have taken a look at how highly effective readers have books everywhere and how they love listening to books. Today we are going to focus on the 3rd habit of highly effective readers, which is that they are able to pick out just right books.
What helps these readers be able to pick out just right books? Well, let’s take a look at 3 key components.
- They review a book before reading it.
- They know what they like to read.
- They read series and have favorite authors.
Today’s post is going to specifically look at how they review a book before reading it. You may have heard of that old saying, “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover!” Well this saying came into existence because many people will just rely on the the cover. However, this is not what highly effective readers do. They look at much more. Here is what they look at and different things that go through their mind as they look at it.
1. Interesting title – Does the title captivate you to want to read it?
2. The Table of Contents – Skim this section and see if there is anything here that grabs your attention.
3. The back cover of the book – After reading the back of the book, would you want to continue to read on?
4. Read the first few pages – Are you so hooked now that it would be sad if you did not continue reading on?
5. Reviews – What do other people have to say about this book?
So beyond the picture on the cover highly effective readers use so much more information. For a fiction book a table of contents does not always make sense, but for a non-fiction book it is pivotal. You can find out if the information you want to learn will be contained in these pages. If it is not, then you can abandon this book before you even try to start it.
By reading the first few pages of the book you can get a pretty good sense about the reading level. Will this book be too easy, just right, or too hard? You can also get a feel for the author’s style of writing. Some writing is just easier to read. Especially when the author pays attention to the words that he or she uses. This kind of writing just draws you in right away. Not all authors have this talent.
The last bit of information to take a look at are the reviews and I am not talking about the ones that are on the book itself. I am specifically referring to reviews on Amazon or Goodreads. This will give you an idea of what everyday readers think about this book and not people who have highly appraised the book to sell more. Nobody puts a terrible review on their book, so you will never find one there. Don’t just look at the star ratings either, actually take a look at what strengths and weaknesses seem to be present in this book. Sometimes weaknesses for one person can be a strength for another, that is why it is important to read some of them.
Utilizing these tips with kids that are not highly effective readers will help them out in a huge way. You can practice at the library or even with the books that you have on your very own shelves.
What previewing strategy helps you the most when you are picking out your next read?