Tag: learning

Become a Better Reader

Posted September 13, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Literature / 15 Comments

I have been thinking about myself as a reader lately and I thought I might talk about it in a post. I really want to be a better reader but there seems to be so much I need to learn or get into a habit of doing. So below is a list of those things and I would love it if people can give me some hints or tips to help improve myself as a reader.

Note taking
I really struggle with this; I want to learn to write down thoughts and interesting quotes but never seem to work out a good way to do this. I don’t often have a notepad with me so I don’t know how to get into a habit or what will help. I thought about using Tumblr or Goodreads progress updates to do that but I’m not sure if they will help. I just have to somehow train myself into doing this.

Reading Critically
I want to be able to pick out symbolism, motifs and themes throughout the book. If you have been a reader of my blog for a while you probably can see that my reviewing seems to have improved and has more of a focus on critical understanding but I still think I’m a long way off to where I want to be. This might mean I need to read slower and reread books.

Understanding Literary Theory
I think part of reading critically would be to learn literary theory and that can be tricky. I started a BA in English Lit to learn this stuff but feel like I haven’t got into literary theory yet which is probably not true, I’m just impatient. I would love if there were a podcast or something that will slowly go through basic literary concepts and explain them in a practical, easy to understand manner. If I was smarter I would write my own but I still need to learn and probably need help to bounce my autodidactic learning off to make sure I’m on the right track.

Better Reviews
I struggle with synopsis’s and often fill tempted to use a book blurb or Goodreads synopsis instead. This is just one element of a book review that I want to improve, I know I’m getting better but I would love to write ten pages analysing a book without any effort. I know people won’t want to read a review that long but if I learn to write something like that, then I can work out a way to incorporate that into my blog.

There is a lot to learn here and I think I will eventually get to a place where all these points will be incorporated into my regular reading life. When that day comes I am sure I will have a new goal, I’m just inpatient and I want to have a better understanding in literature than I do now. I feel this will come with practise and continually pushing myself to be better and I hope that my blog is a reflection in this progress.