Having Trouble Finishing A Book?
• Do you start quite a few novels?
• Does a friend recommend a novel and you start but then quit
because you find better things to do?
• Do you get a whole stack of novels when you visit the library but you
never finish them. In fact, you don’t even open most of them?
• Do you lose interest because it takes too long to finish them?
• Are you looking for a novel that can hold your interest ?
• Do you need a novel you can finish so you don’t get a failing grade
on an assignment?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions,
CHECK YOUR MOOD
• Are you feeling happy and full of energy?
• Are you feeling mad about something that happened this week?
• Are you feeling sad and a bit left out?
There are stories that can match your mood.
There are stories that can help you feel happier.
There are stories that can distract you.
But first you have to know how you feel and how you want to feel.
BE AN INTERESTED PERSON
People who read books are interested in something other than themselves.
• They are curious about how other people live.
• They are curious about how people face and overcome problems.
• They are curious about other places, too, and other times in history.
• They are even able to travel in their imagination to the world of fantasy.
• And they enjoy learning about the real world all around them.
People who read books are interested in life.
• Read the post called ‘Looking for a Good Novel?’ for ideas on how to
find the stories that are right for you.
MAKE A COMMITMENT
• Choose two or three books that you are determined to finish.
Imagine a meal in which you ate one bite of hamburger, one bite of pizza, one spoonful of soup, one forkful of salad, one bite of an egg sandwich, one bite of an apple, one grape, one spoonful of ice cream and one spoonful of pudding. Eating that kind of meal would be unappetizing. Reading is similar: unappealing if you never focus and finish anything.
• If any other interesting books appear, write down the titles in your
agenda or on a piece of paper. You can read those books later.
It is fine to keep a list of books that you’ll consider when you have time later on, but there are so many good books that you can’t possibly read them all. So don’t think that there is something better waiting out there for you. You don’t do that with friendships: you don’t run from person to person hoping to meet someone more perfectly suited to you. Don’t do that with books, either.
• Tell your teacher or parent that you have made a commitment to read
your chosen books for at least 30 minutes a day.
• Ask them to regularly remind you of your promise to yourself.
• Make sure your books are where you need them. You might have one
book at school and another at home.
• Make sure you have at least 30 minutes at a stretch to read.
It’s difficult to maintain interest in a novel if you read in tiny snippets.
You wouldn’t want to eat a hamburger one mouthful per half hour. It soon
would taste awful. Books are the same way: boring if you read them
• Have browsing books and magazines available for those times in class
when you only have a few minutes to read.
Visit the library to find browsing books. Ask for suggestions. Build up
your brain muscles by ensuring there is variety in your training routine.
NOW GO START AND FINISH READING A BOOK
[This page may be copied for use with students if the following credit is provided: ©2009 Sophie Rosen.]