What does it say about me that I am fascinated with how people do the mundane? Takes one to be fascinated by one? Or something.
Like, what steps do you take to clean your bathroom? What does your daily hair routine look like? How do you organize your pantry? Or, lucky you, the topic de jour: how do you read a fiction book?
Assuming you are here because you are exactly.just.like.me, have I got a treat for you. I’m going to share how I read a fiction book. Ta-daaa.
How I Read a Fiction Book
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Pre-Reading: First I check out the front and back cover. I familiarize myself with these things to form a schema (knowledge base) around the book. Brandon Vogt goes into a lot of detail in his video course calling this “x-raying a book”, and he has 8 easy steps to learn how to do this.
Read Slowly: At first. The first 15-25% of the book normally. I spend time flipping back often, reminding myself of characters and plot points. I like to read slowly to get every detail straight in my head.
Plow Point: You know, the point where you understand the writer’s style, the language and the plot enough that you can just race to the end? You can recognize and skim over small details that you know aren’t imperative. This method fails me when I am reading a book that is style/character based: a book where the language and descriptions are the main focus as opposed to plot based books. (Think What Alice Forgot vs. P&P) I love plot based books because I like to read fast and furiously. I am always wanting to get into the next book.
Reflect: Ha. I don’t really have time to do this. But, if I did, I would sit with my thoughts, ask myself questions about the book, think about what I learned or how the book changed the way I think about life. Maybe blog about it. As it is, I can’t go to the bathroom on my own, so you can take this step or leave it.
Fave Plot Based Books of Late
As a (super!short!lived!) former English teacher, I know that these tips are things all good readers should know how to do. They are things that come naturally to me (toot toot!) and things I spent hours trying to teach my students. If you find yourself questioning HOW to read a book – what is the best way? – then you can learn these things in Brandon’s course that I mentioned above.
How do YOU read a fiction book? What are your favorite titles right now?