HOW TO GET YOUR FAMILY TO READ MORE AND WHY YOU WOULD WANT THEM TO READ MORE! Over 40% of Americans claim not to have read any books in the previous year. The survey was last conducted very recently, (before the recession started) and noted falling reading rates from previous years. Could be the FLUORIDE in the water or CHEM TRAILS, or nuked food, or transgenic foods or public schools, or harassed parents with two jobs, no time to tutor?
The TIME IS MONEY factor hits parents hard. More of us have less time for a pursuit that doesn't SEEM to make money. It does of course as readers have statistically twice the income of non readers. VISIT a website called lifehack.org and you will see essays by people who do not expect reading to stop after one graduates. LIFEHACK is a wonderful, BOOK-promoting WEBSITE. Just wonderful! I got much of this article from their pages. But the truth is when you look at the average English speaking citizen and try to find READERS, you will find really dismal statistics! So the question becomes, how can you beat the odds and read more books this year, bring them into your home either from library, thrift store or used book store, and then get your family to read them too?
Why Bother Reading More?
Obviously ----to be WEALTHY, SMART, ACCEPTED, WELL MARRIED to an INTELLIGENT MATE. (Intelligent people are not violent, they solve problems in amazingly deft ways other than with a swat). So I think we would want our kids to read.) All that is delivered by literacy!
Guess what? Children who read from toddlerhood on --with parents who go to the library every 2 or 3 weeks, without missing a visit, those kids become voracious readers. They graduate with A's, they go on to college with Grants, so are cheaper to raise. They easily marry their beloved because they're not boring.
Our culture values readers. I'm sure that you've seen the advertisements where famous celebrities sit next to a stack of books they haven't read and tell you to read more. How many President's First ladies do that? Try all of them! I don't believe that ONE has since Eleanor Roosevelt. But wouldn't you like to point out to your children that ELEANOR was an amazing lady and get her BIO and show them that the GREAT PEOPLE DID READ.
I usually read four books a week, 200 each year and I believe it is one of the best investments of time and money I can make. But I wasn't really sold on the process of reading in my spare time until a few years ago. I might only have read four of five books outside of class when I was younger. My decision to build the habit of reading more books came from being sold on the benefits of reading more. Here are some of the reasons to start:
1.Knowledge. It only takes reading 10-20 books on a subject until you know more on that topic than most of the population. Read 200-300 books on a subject and you're an expert unless you have a sieve for a memory.
2.Flow. Unlike the passive activity of television, reading takes mental effort. This mental effort results in keeping your mind sharp and engaged. It won't hurt your eyes if you use a good reading light and a small soft hat to the light does not go into your eyes.
3.Self-Improvement. A book doesn't have to be in the self-help aisle in order to give you ideas for improvement. Great works of fiction, books on science, culture and philosophy are full of ideas that you can't get just from skimming an online article. Read the URL at top on 'WHY NOVELS" which states cultural, moral values, evolution etc. all can be found there.
4.Awareness. What's happening in the world? What trends are continuing into the future? Where is the world headed? Unfortunately just flicking through the 24-hour news programs on television are more likely to give you advice on the latest antics of Britney Spears than a broad perspective on the world.
5.Power. Ignorance is not bliss. You can't change something you don't know about. Learning about yourself, science, culture and the world as a whole gives you a power most people lack. An awareness. A readiness to handle what's coming. Non-Fiction is even more important. When I was investigating the looming Depression and its causes, I researched and wrote up all the causes of the NASDAQ TECH WRECK, ENRON and the RECESSION, names of the POLITICIANS WHO COMMITTED CRIMES...and then the FIX. I realized I'd created webpages that assist one in being a raving good conversationalist. Hit the CONVERSATION 101 INDEX
6.Pride. Not the most noble of benefits, but it still is a plus. Reading classic works of literature gives you the ability to know what people are referring to when they reference ideas like doublethink (1984) or quote Shakespeare's .'a rose by any other name would smell as sweet'.
7. Changed Outlook. This one is harder to realize until after you've read a few dozen books, but reading great books can completely change your outlook on life. Books force you to think, and while you may feel
you're doing a good job of that already, they can make you think in ways you hadn't even considered. Think of all the KKK people who lynched blacks as easily as they ate cornpone. Then think of them reading Nat Turner's Rebellion by Styron. Or Mississippi burning. Think of all the HINDUS who kick Sudras or outcasts. Then imagine them reading A FINE BALANCE by Rohinton Mistry, one of Oprah's picks. WOW! That book wipes them all away!
There are many other reasons for reading and I suggest you come up with your own. But wanting to read more (like wanting to exercise, drink less or get promoted) doesn't make it so. Reading more books requires
forming the right habits so that reading becomes an automatic activity, rather than a chore.
How to Read More Books This Year
Here are a few tips for boosting the amount of books you and your family can read:
1.Speed Read. Speed reading has been attacked by all sorts of people for
being fake, compromising understanding or based on junk-science. I think
this is based on the misconception that speed-reading is all about a
magical technique that allows you to blur through pages, rather than
plain, common-sense habits to make reading faster. There are entire
books on speed reading, but here are a few tips that have stuck with me
since I first learned to speed read a few years ago: Use a pointer. Run
your index finger beneath the text on the page. This keeps your eyes
focused on a specific point on the page. After a week or two of adapting
to using your finger, this can boost your reading rate considerably.
Practice read. Practice reading means reading slightly faster than
you can actually comprehend. While you wont get any new information
from practice reading, this trains you to read without needing to
subvocalize (repeat the words in your head).
2. Start a Morning Ritual. Recently I decided to set aside time for
reading each morning. Following when I wake up at 5:30, I read for an
hour and a half. This lets me squeeze in reading time on a schedule that
would otherwise be too busy during the day. Even if you can only devote
15-30 minutes of reading each morning you can read 20-30 books each
START AN EVENING RITUAL - All cares of the day put aside, plump
up the pillows, get in bed, soft hat on, pointer in hand. Light over shoulder.
Stack of books handy.
3. One Book at a Time. Trying to multi-task between books is wasting your
time. My rule is that I should continue reading one book until I finish
it, or decide to quit it entirely. Putting one book on hold to start
another just crowds your to-do list. That's why there are ten books on the bed.
4. Carry a Book With You. If you plan on going anywhere, keep a book with
you and you can read if you are forced to wait. Throughout your day
there are probably many moments where you have to wait for a few minutes
in lines, during breaks or when traveling. Having a book with you means
those moments arent wasted.
5.Audio Books. Most popular books have audio versions. While the audio
versions are more expensive (use the library), you can have something to
play in your car when you are driving or in your iPod when walking
6. GIFT THE GREAT TITLES to young people to get them started! Once a child has read a great book, they will always search for others and haunt the library. Give PEARL BUCK complete set, for girls, The Good Earth, Peony. Etc. Give LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE whole set, for even smaller girl children. A Tree grows on Brooklyn, Gone with the Wind also for girls of all ages. TIPS on best reading welcome!. I suppose Harry Potter has to be included. USE ABE BOOKS to get them all for less than a dollar each.
7. READ FREE ONLINE, a woman wrote me: I wanted to let you know about http://www.ReadPrint.com -- a massive non-profit library similar to Bartleby -- except its far better organized and user friendly. We've been using it extensively in school nowadays -- it's great for doing research since you can search within the books. AND you might like THE FRUGAL ROO, A blog about living like a millionaire, even if you aren't.
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