I've never been much of a reader unless I really like the book. This year I have already found two books that really got my attention and partly a third.
This year was the first time since middle school that I have been excited to read in class, and that was because we weren't assigned a class book to read and we got to choose a book we wanted to read. I would like to improve my reading a lot more than it is right now, and actually have the desire to read at home and to read more than just the bare minimum.
This year I have finished 2 books. Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer.
Last year I think I only finished 3 books in the whole year. I didn't have much of a desire or urge to read. We read a class book for the longest time called Tuesdays with Morrie, and it was too drawn out that it lost my attention.
Choice books vs whole class novels is a very big debate in the English world right now. I believe that you should be able to decide what you want to read. Reading is all about getting into a good book and going to a different place for the time you are reading it. It is very hard to do that when you are being forced to read a book you don't really like. By choosing a book YOU want to read, it makes you actually want to read it because you are more interested. In my opinion, I think class novels are part of the reason kids don't like reading these days.
I have learned a lot as a reader growing up. I have to make time to read my book or I will never read. Time management is a struggle for me. If I actually want or need to read I have to make it a priority. Sometimes that is very hard for me, but once I actually decide to put aside time and my cellphone I can read for hours with the right book. Everyone knows coffee and a good book is the best.
The most difficult book I have read this semester was Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close for many different reasons. The book made you think a lot. It wasn't an easy read and you really had to have your whole head in it and be paying attention to the little details. Every little thing was important and I wasn't very good at putting the effort in to pay that close of attention to it. I wish I would have because others who say they did, LOVED the book. Lots of times throughout the book I would have to go back and re-read parts to understand what was going on. All in all the book was great, but I wish I would've understood it a little bit more.
One thing I mainly need to work on in my reading area is setting aside time to read. I feel like I only read when it is convenient for me, instead of making time and putting in the effort. Reading makes you smarter and as obvious as this sounds, reading more makes you a better reader. I need to try and read way more than I do right now so that my "have" to read turns into a "want" to read.