How I READ a Book

Until recently, I used to read books. But, a man in one of my book clubs inspired me to rethink my actions. He has a notebook where he records things he finds interesting about the books he reads. Needless to say, he’s able to contribute so much to our discussions.

You see, there’s reading, and then there’s READING! The first is simply letting the words register in your brain and reacting to them. The second…let’s just say it involves the little grey cells (with a wink to Hercule Poirot).

So I decided to stop reading, and start READING. And, being a list maker, I developed a plan.

Reading Plan:

  1. Read the book as usual making notes along the way about character names, how they’re related to each other, any major events with page number references, and any passages I like with page references.
  2. Answer this question: Do I like, dislike, or somewhat like the book? Why?
  3. How is the book written? Is it easy to follow the story? Does it take place in one time or flip between the past and the present? Is there one main character, two, or more? Is there too much bad language, sexual innuendo, raw violence, or dialect that is hard to read?
  4. Determine the theme or themes of the book, and look for passages that back up my choice(s).
  5. See how the main characters have changed from the beginning of the book to the end of the book. Find examples in the book to show this change.
  6. Have I learned anything from this book?
  7. Now that I’ve answered all these questions, have I changed my mind about whether I like, dislike, or somewhat like this book? Why?

I confess, I don’t do this with every book I read. There are some authors that are like old friends. I sit back, crack open their latest book, and savor the experience from the first word. But, my list helps with new authors, book club books, and books I intend to review on my website.

Now it’s your turn. What do you consider while reading a book?