March 18, 2010

Thinking on Thursday

On Thursdays I take time to step back and just share my thoughts on things related to reading. Sometimes these may be my thoughts or thoughts I've gotten from my students. It depends on the Thursday. It depends on the topic. It depends on the week!

This Week I'm Thinking About:

Why I Stink at Reading

Ok I'm an English teacher, so many people believe I should be this perfect reader that never gets it wrong. The truth is - there are many ways I stink at reading and do things that "good" readers don't do.  Here's just a few.

1. I skip parts or skim.  Some people think you have to read every single word.  I don't.  If I hit a part I find boring, instead of quitting the book all together - I skim til my interests perks up again.

2.  Be ready to gasp! I read the ending of the book first.  Well ok not first, but by a fourth of the way through the book I usually jump to the end and read the last page.  It's always ONLY the last page regardless how long or short it is.  The only book I wouldn't let myself do this for was the last Harry Potter book.  I wanted it to be a suprise. 

3.  I can't read two or more books at once.  If I try this I get the stories and characters confused.  If I start a second book I always have to stop one until the other is finished.

4.  If I don't know the meaning of a word or how to pronounce it I keep reading and skip it.  I don't have time to leave the story to stop and check it out!

5.  I don't remember names of characters.  Really! I just finished I Am the Messenger, and I had to stop and really think about what the main character's name was (for the record it was Ed Kennedy).  The sad part - his name was said over and over! For some reason they just don't stick with me. 

6.  Classics?  What classics?  There are so many "classics" I haven't read! Pride and Prejudice, Little Women, Wuthering Heights, East of Eden - the list goes on and on and on. 

So there ya have it.  I stink at reading! But here's the deal.  I do one thing that over-rules all the ways I stink.  I KEEP reading.  I read and read and read.  And to my 7th graders - that's what I try to get them to understand.  They need to just keep reading.  Reading will help them succeed.  All those other myths about being a good reader go out the window when you just keep reading. It's when you stop reading that you really begin to stink at it :) 

Now how about you - how do you stink at reading?


  1. Awesome post. I can't believe read the ending ;)

  2. YOU READ THE END? *gasp*
    I caught my stepdaughter doing the same thing to Hunger Games and I jumped up, "NO! What are you doing?"
    thanks for letting me know there are other's out there. wow.
    I'll admit to being a skimmer. Description, details, I tend to skip to the action.

  3. There are so many classics I haven't read-sometimes I feel like a bad librarian! I feel like I read really slow, even though I guess I don't since I read over 100 books a year. I have a problem of reading too many books at one time and I won't finish a book if it doesn't interest me.

  4. I read the ending too sometimes! Though I'm trying to break that habit. I also skim, especially descriptions of countryside because I don't care that much. And there are many classics that I haven't read and probably never will.

  5. I don't look up words I don't recognize either. Waste of time in my book (ha.ha.) And I ALWAYS forget names of characters. Unless I just finished it, I usually have to go find the name from goodreads or amazon. Kinda sad, actually.

  6. I forget details after a book sometimes, just because I want to get on and read the next book. I'd never look at the ending in advance though!!

    That said, I occasionally flip ahead to see when the chapter ends so I can pace myself.

    Great confessions!

  7. There are so many classics I haven't read either, I totally understand. I hae "gaps" in my reading life that I am too embarassed even to think about. My "problem" is that I begin books and then don't finish them, only when I find myself, pressured -like a book club meeting- is that I make it a point to finish. But like you, I don't stop. I keep going...I surround myself with book events, other books lovers -by blogs and by clubs-etc. Thanks for a gerat post!

  8. Oh, maybe you would like to mention in your March/April giveaway that I am giveing away a signed copy by Lisa See. It's Shanghai Girls and the drawing will be next Friday, March 26 2010. They can comment at

  9. Well I have disliked every classic I have ever read so I don't read much classics :P
    I usually find out the word by context clues
    and yes, I will admit to reading the end of books when I think my favorite character is going to die or something :)

  10. I'm with you on the skimming. Who wants boring. I can come back later if I need to.

    I haven't read enough classics either. It's just overwhelming to try to do it all.

    I don't read the end unless I'm going to give up on a book.

    Great post! And I'll be sure that no matter what, I keep reading!