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How Do I Force Myself Into Reading English Fiction?

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Hi guys, hello my dear fellow foreign English speakers and welcome back to Robby’s English Harmony video blog, and also my podcast – in case you’re listening to the podcast instead of watching the video.

In today’s video episode, I’m going to respond to a question asked by one of my blog readers, and the question basically is the following:

“How do I force myself to read English fiction if I’m not into reading?”

And let me just tell you before I get into the actual topic that I’ve been suggesting that you get into young adult fiction in case you find it difficult to read something in English, right? So young adult fiction is very easy to read and those writers use very easy, simple and conversational English.

It’s not like academic English that you would probably encounter if you picked up some classic, right? Which I’ve never done before, myself – well, I have picked up some classics and then I read a few paragraphs and I just couldn’t wrap my head around what’s being said there, OK?

And that’s why I’m into young adult fiction and before that there was a period of my life when I was reading fantasy fiction, it lasted for about three years or something and I read dozens upon dozens of books and the language used in those type of books is pretty much the same – it’s very easy to understand, very easy to read, very friendly and very conversational, OK?

So that’s the reason number one why I’m suggesting you guys to get into either fantasy or young adult fiction, OK?

And this particular person who asked me the question says that he finds young adult fiction difficult to read, OK? And by the way, currently I’m reading a young adult book called “Not a Drop to Drink”.

This is one of those dystopian novels where action takes a few years in the future where some sort of a catastrophe has happened. In this case, was it a nuclear war or something… it doesn’t actually say what exactly happened, but you can kind of guess that some kind of major warfare had been going on and part of the humanity is being wiped out, basically, and people are dreading for their lives.

They’re sticking to their own, living in close-knit communities or just living by themselves and protecting themselves and that’s the basic plot in this particular book, OK? And where was I… Oh yes. The thing is, if you’re not into young adult fiction, maybe… maybe the reason you find it difficult to read is just because you’re not a reader, OK?

Maybe You Just Don’t Like Reading Fiction!

Maybe you’re just the type of person who just doesn’t read and to tell you the truth guys, I know a few people like that who just – who’ve never been reading in their lives, they’ve probably read, like, two books throughout their entire lives, but it doesn’t mean that they would be less intellectual.

It’s just that reading is not something they’re into, OK?

And having said that, I have to admit that those people actually read something else and they read loads. What they read is blogs, they read technical literature, OK? They read websites and all that sort of thing, basically – electronic media is what they’re into, so just because you don’t read English fiction, just because you can’t force yourself to pick up a book and start reading doesn’t necessarily mean that you are kind of destined to be in a situation where you can’t read and you’re going to miss out on English reading – not at all!

Use Electronic Media Instead!

Just like I told you, you can read blogs, websites – you can basically use the Internet as a source for your reading activities, news articles and whatnot. I’m pretty sure that there’s some hobby that you have or some sort of an interest, something that you’re into, OK?

So go ahead, Google up the best websites in your area of interest and start following them. Sign up to their feeds and whenever there’s a new blog post or article published on that particular blog, just head over there and read it and that’s just as good as reading English fiction, OK?

And it’s probably even better because you’re going to be reading something that directly relates to your life. Say, for example, if you’re into fitness, right? I just picked up the subject of fitness because I’m interested into that as well, so if you go to the gym, if you’re an athlete or if you run, like me, I’m a runner myself, I’ve been running for a good few years now – so if that’s your interest, if that’s something that you’re into, or maybe you’re into soccer or some other kind of sports, tennis, for example, Wimbledon is on at the moment.

They were having a final between Djokovic and Federer and that’s going to be… that’s going to be an amazing game and I’m actually looking forward to it. I’m going to be watching it later on today, right?

So if you’re into that sort of thing, there’s no reason why you couldn’t be reading about it on a daily basis. There’s plenty of websites out there catering for every niche that you can possibly conceive, OK?

Just… I don’t know, I’m just looking at things that are lying around my desk. Camcorder, the same I’m using to record my video right now, maybe you’re into video production, or something.

Maybe you’re an amateur video person, basically you spend a lot of your time filming things, or whatever, and then you put them together, you edit them just like I do, in terms of my YouTube videos and all that. So if you’re into that sort of thing, there’s no reason why you couldn’t be constantly following the latest industry developments and checking out blogs and websites where people are offering free tips and tricks about video production and all that sort of thing, you know?

So whatever you’re into, you can constantly stay on top of things by reading English websites, English blogs, and why I’m saying English? Because this particular person was struggling with English reading, so all I’m saying is probably you’re in the type of situation where you’re kind of focused on, “Oh yeah, I have to be reading English fiction.” But other than that, you might be still reading those other websites in your native language. So I’m saying is – forget about English fiction if you can’t force yourself into it, OK?

But make sure you do everything else in English. Stop reading your native language news, that’s what I’ve done. Well, to tell you the truth, I do check my Latvian news website every day, just to stay on top of things that happen in my country, right? In my native – my homeland, so to speak.

But other than that, I just read English news – what happens in Ireland, what happens in Great Britain, what happens in Europe, all that is read only in English by me, alright?

So you should be doing the very same thing and that would be the equivalent of reading English fiction. Do it on a daily basis.

Maybe You Have to Look Into Other Types of Fiction!

And another possibility is that probably, in terms of that particular person who asked me the question, maybe young adult fiction is not your thing.

Maybe you should try out biographies, for example, or crime, or something else. There’s plenty of different genres you could get into, so just walk around the bookstore, pick up a random book and read a few paragraphs or a few pages and see if that piques your interest, OK?

And just like I told you, maybe reading is not your thing. So if you really can’t find anything to your liking, please make the use of the internet. The internet is the biggest source out there that anyone can use practically for free these days, alright?

Only you’re going to pay an electricity bill and an Internet bill, that’s all. And what was I going to say? There was one more thing I was going to say… Oh yeah!

Sometimes it actually requires a little bit of forceful action on your part to force yourself into reading!

Sometimes You Have to Quite Literally Force Yourself Into Reading!

I didn’t want to start reading this book, but it was given to me by my daughters on THE Father’s Day, so I kind of… I couldn’t not do it, so I just started it and the moment I read a couple pages, the book, quite literally, drew me into itself and I just can’t stop reading it now, you know?

So sometimes it takes a little bit of effort to read the first couple of pages, OK?

But obviously, if you read twenty pages and you still just feel like not reading that book, you just can’t force yourself to do it, don’t. Don’t do it. Try another book. Try another one and then another one and, obviously, if you fail to make it your habit after ten books, then forget about it.

Just use the Internet, just like I told you – read news websites, specialty websites, niche blogs and all that, and you will definitely benefit from that, just the way you would if you were reading English fiction, OK?

So hopefully I shed some light on the bigger issue and obviously, if you have any additional questions or comments, please feel free to post them in the comments section below this video.

Thanks for watching, my friends, and chat to you soon! Bye bye!

Robby

P.S. Would you like to find out why I’m highlighting some of the text in red? Read this article and you’ll learn why it’s so important to learn idiomatic expressions and how it will help you to improve your spoken English!

P.S.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!

English Harmony System

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Hi Mehdi,

    A while back I started a blog where I was reviewing English fiction for foreign English speakers – http://bestenglishfiction.com/ – you may want to check it out!
    I’ve stopped publishing on that blog ever since, but it doesn’t make it less relevant, I’m sure you’ll find something to suit your reading taste in there!
    Regards,
    Robby

  • Mehdi

    Hi Robby!

    Quite an interesting post there!

    I myself am really into reading fiction books. Lots and
    lots. Sometimes I neglect my studies just to find out what would happen in the
    next chapter! Really!

    Well, the thing is, I don’t know where to look for good
    books.

    Can you introduce us a website or blog which reviews and
    introduces new books in different genres and categories?

    It would be a great help to know which book piques our
    interest.

    Thanks,

    Mehdi

  • Hi Balen,

    Here’s the thing – you should never learn more than one meaning of a new English word, here’s why: http://englishharmony.com/learn-one-meaning-of-word/
    Regards,
    Robby

  • balen

    Hello Robby. how do i memorize some words that have more than one meaning