10-second review: Instead of fending off your loved one’s offer of a book to share, take twenty minutes to sample its pages and ideas and then engage in a discussion that will be more rewarding than any you have ever had.
Title: “The Pages from Our Lives.” Ray Wolpow. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy (September 2004), 6-9. The secondary school publication of the International Reading Association (IRA).
Summary: The author’s Grandpa taught him how to sample books his grandpa loved as a prelude to a rich discussion of their ideas.
Comment: I don’t know why, but when someone recommends a book to me, I instinctively don’t want to read it. Maybe it comes from years of being forced to read what I didn’t want to read in school. Because of that, my father, a lawyer, said that he would never read another book after he graduated and he never did.
But this article showed me how to welcome the offer of a book.
I have developed techniques to sample books and then I am ready to engage in a rewarding discussion.
Nonfiction: Read the foreword and the first and last paragraphs of each chapter.
Fiction: Read for five minutes near the beginning, five minutes half-way through the novel, three-fourths through the novel and near the end.
Both techniques will cause you to raise all the questions you will need to engage in a stimulating discussion. RayS.