Monday, June 8, 2009

Make Time to Read

I returned home from a trip to NC to visit family this weekend, and I had a chance to talk with my soon to be HS sophomore niece, Lauren. She has a busy summer ahead, and was not looking forward to her summer reading assignment. As it turns out, her assigned book is "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card, which just happens to be one of my all-time favorite books. After warning her that I would be checking up on her progress all summer, I then told her what I tell both of my own children; make time to read books!

I am known for two things in my office, puzzles and reading. I generally can be found reading two to three books at once (current selections are "The Alienist" and "Fooled by Randomness"). In addition, I just finished the fifth book of The Lightning Thief series because my 12 year old son told me I would love it. And being the father of a 10 year old as well, I read a lot of young adult books.

When student's visit UGA and ask how they can improve themselves in the eyes of admissions offices, one of the key messages I leave them with is to learn how to love reading books. Want to have a better chance at increasing your SAT Critical Reading or ACT English? Read! Want to learn how to write better? Read! Want to have a better understanding of themes, vocabulary, etc? You get the picture.

Now it is your turn. What books have you loved reading, or what books has your English teacher told you you would love? Let me know, and I will keep you updated on my reading. And don't forget, read this summer!


  1. I am half way through "Fooled" and it is dense but interesting. It reminds me of the "The Hinge Factor" by Erik Durmschmeid. I am getting ready to tackle "The Eight" for my summer vacation reading. I certainly think that the volume of book reading (not Tiger Beat or People) that you can do improves you grasp of language. It also gives a sense of the incredible depth and flexibility of English. The more you read, it increases the chances of encountering words and phrases that you don't come in contact with everyday.

  2. I have found that reading any British Literature will help your vocabulary skills. Clearly, I love the Brit Lit selections as I have listed "Jane Eyre" as my favorite book on the Meet the Staff page.

    Now, I know you may start rolling your eyes since these books are more than likely on your summer reading list (especially if your taking an AP Lit class next year!) and who "enjoys" reading assigned books?! Bear through it - even if you must read with the novel in one hand and a dictionary in the other. You may actually begin to enjoy it.

    I'm currently reading "Northanger Abbey" by Jane Austen and am still learning new words!