Posted September 12, 2017
In The Door to January, mysterious forces draw 16-year-old Natalie back to her hometown where she must reconcile with local bullies and travel in time to confront a serial killer and right the wrongs of the past.
August 21, 2017
For book lovers, one of the best feelings is reading a “can’t put down” book: escaping into the pages and immersing themselves in the story. To some, that experience is already perfect. However, there are plenty of ways to get even more out of a book you’re reading. Here are a few of our ideas:
As you’re reading, keep a pen or pencil in hand and write down whatever thoughts or emotions come to mind in the margin of the book or in a separate notebook. Doing so is useful for those in book clubs or book discussion groups, but it can also enhance the overall reading experience and allow you to personally connect with the book on a deeper level. This can be done as you read or within specific timeframes, such as after you’ve completed each chapter.
Do outside research on the topic
There are plenty of stories within any story, you just have to be on the lookout for them. Whenever you come across anything or anyone with which you aren’t familiar, jot it down and make a point to research it later. It could be something as simple as the occupation of a character in a novel. Maybe it isn’t a big plot point, but doing some research could help you better understand that character and their motivations. It also expands your knowledge set.
Use the dictionary
When we come across a word we can’t easily define in a book, it’s easy to assume what the definition is based on context and continue on. A better approach is to actually take the time to look up the word in the dictionary. Not only will this help you better understand what’s happening in the story, it will also expand your vocabulary.
Reread the first chapter after you finish the book
Once you know how the book ends, it can be interesting to revisit how it started. This is especially interesting when it’s taken a longer period of time to read the book (a few months rather than a few days). It’s possible to forget what happened in the beginning!
Whether you read reviews before you read a book or not, it’s interesting to go back and read them after you’ve read the book to compare your thoughts to the thoughts of reviewers. You can also leave your own reviews on websites like Goodreads and peruse what the community is saying there – not only are you sharing your thoughts for other readers, but authors and publishers appreciate the commentary, too.
If you prefer to simply read a book and escape reality for a little while, there’s nothing wrong with that. However, doing these things while reading can enhance the experience and improve your own knowledge set, which is especially useful if you’re a writer yourself.