Thu. Oct 24th, 2019

Read 4 Fun

Read the short reviews, read the book, comment

A Note on Reading Resources

3 min read

As an English language teacher I am always seeking to make learning English less of a chore, in other words, more fun. I downplay the teaching of grammar. It has a place, a minimal knowledge of it is necessary for workplace competence. But irregular verb constructions will never be fun. Obsessive preoccupation with the correct preposition to use will not get you invited to parties. Talking about the latest book you read, or heard (audiobooks), or the latest film you saw when you had to read the subtitles might make you a center of attention. Reading in film is not reserved for foreign films only. Think of the film Unfriended. Your presence at parties, especially when you demonstrate your clever, glib self while expressing your viewpoints, will be your reward for reading. Unless your expressiveness repeatedly ends in bar fights. Then you should direct your reading to books on developing social skills.

Developing a good vocabulary is the key to language development. It is not grammar. Grammar is innate, it will come through practice. Chomsky said that and even more. Never disagree with Chomsky. His pronouncements are flexible and fluid due to a lifetime of learning. Leave him to be the guru of grammar. You study vocabulary.

Read what you like or, in some cases, have to read, like spam advertisements on your Android. People who proudly claim to read only non-fiction are not the people I want at my parties. Read comics. My son learns a lot of vocabulary from reading the story set-ups for on-line games. Read everything.

Where Do I Get Books

I live and teach in Indonesia. Amazon describes Indonesia and Thailand as non-reading cultures, therefore no place to buy Amazon book products. So I had to order my Kindle from the US and pay outrageous import taxes. It was a purchase of my choice; I could have stuck with the Kindle app for PCs. For my location, Amazon works the best for me as far as purchasing ebooks, borrowing them (Kindle Unlimited) and previewing purchases through the offered free samples. I get requests from authors to review books. Most authors will forward a copy of the book in the mobi format so they are integrated with my Amazon purchases.

I use Scribd, a subscription library. I had a service I liked a lot, Entitle Books, but they were purchased by Scribd. I was fairly happy with the new service and immediately signed up for the annual plan. Big mistake. Throughout the almost one year I have been with them, service, defined as availability of titles, has followed an ever downward curve. I am sure I will not renew and the experience was a lesson. I’ll pay slightly higher prices for monthly plans.

Barnes and Noble is a fine source of books, but I rarely use it. I find Amazon more user friendly.

Indiebook publishers abound, many offering free stuff. Free stuff is good and there are great new creative voices out there, but there is a lot of time-wasting dross as well.

I post reviews to Amazon, Goodreads, and Library Thing. I get free books from an Early Reviewer Program at Library  Thing. I am finishing one of those books now and will publish my notes on it tomorrow. It is a collection of short stories titled A Natural History of Hell and has a target publication date of July 2016 which means you may not be able to find it right away. It is worth waiting for if you like twisted fantasy type stuff.

Read Everything.


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