Books are amazing! They are full of windows into other worlds and into other people’s souls. Children learn so much about society and grammar, as well as how to write creatively themselves, by reading a good variety of books.
At school, teachers generally find interactive ways to connect with stories and for children to gain a better understanding of the materials they are reading through drama, art and music. As adults we tend to do this much less but I think that finding ways to interact with the books that you read can make the activity of reading even more enjoyable as well as engaging our brains, keeping those synapses active.
Here are a few questions to consider. As usual, I have noted my own responses underneath each one. I look forward to reading your thoughts on these.
1) Do you ever look into the subjects or locations covered within your reading books?
For me, if I come across a new subject or something that I have less awareness of, I quickly open up Google and have a look for more information about that particular topic. This can stem from a tricky word which has intrigued me or even an exotic place that I’ve never heard of. If a book is set on a Greek island, I want to visualise it by opening a map of that location, for example. I want to know the terrain and check out a few pictures taken on that island too.
2) Have you ever unpicked a story with friends?
Many people join book clubs for this very reason. Discussing a book as you travel through its pages can be fun and fascinating. Taking in the opinions of others and engaging in a good debate about the gritty issues uncovered can be satisfying.
Although I never found a book club to join locally, I often read a book at the same time as a friend. We can then have a good natter about the last chapter we read and have a laugh predicting what might happen next. If a story is particularly harrowing we can contemplate how we would deal with that issue or make a decision, give the facts we are presented with.
3) Would you make something artistic based on a book?
After I have read a book which is very visual, riddled with detailed description, I’ve often found myself doodling. I like to sketch cartoon-style and in the past have done this related to book images. Obviously we all see book settings differently and so creating something based on a book is really interesting. You could make a clay model, do a colouring or maybe even draw your own map of a mythical world.
4) Have you ever written fan fiction?
Not yet. You hear about this all of the time at the moment. Harry Potter has had so many fan fiction stories written, using its characters. This is where fans take the story characters and write their own version of events or continue a well known narrative in a way that they would like to see it play out.
Commonly, fans change love interests, alter storylines and mix up relationships, making friends from enemies. A good example is where Harry Potter is rather good ‘friends’ with his nemesis, Draco Malfoy.
I wrote this post because I think that interacting with books can help you to get out of a reading slump. It is also meant to be a bit of fun. I’d love to see your responses to the above questions in the comments. How interactive with your reading are you?
I recently wrote a post about how lazy a reader you might be which is here. If you enjoyed my article perhaps consider following my newish blog, where I write about books, mental health and the environment.