Among some of the most popular New Year's resolutions - reading more books.  Virginia Tech professor of literacy and coordinator of the Reading Specialist Program, Heidi Annne Mesmer says the first step is to find books, magazines, or articles that you want to read but you have to do a little work. Start conversations with, What are you reading?

·         “Think about books that will help you do something that you want to do, such as build a deck, garden, cook, do your job better, increase your confidence. Try before your buy. Go to a bookstore or library with a list and read the first chapter or two of a book to see if it works for you. Give yourself permission to put down a book that you don’t like. Bottom line-- if you have something that you are dying to read, you will read.”

·         “Use down time to read instead of checking email. Install a free reading app on your phone or keep a pocket sized book with you and read during down times. Place limits on non-essential apps such as Facebook, Sports Center, and Instagram. When you reach for your phone, read instead.”

·         “To build stamina in reading, set goals. You might start out by reading daily for 15 minutes and then build up to 30 minutes. Build reading into your daily routine. Many people read before bed. Decide to read a certain amount of pages daily or a certain number of books in a month. Experts tell us that anything we do for about 21 days will likely become a habit.”

·         “Not everyone wants to read novels and that’s ok.  Everything counts when it comes to reading. So, have interesting reading materials laying around your house or your office. Subscribe to magazines that have wide appeal, such as Reader’s Digest. Identify articles that might be of interest to your spouse or children and leave them lying open on a coffee table. Spread reading materials around the house, like candy dishes, or candles.”

·         “One of the great joys of reading is sharing your thoughts, questions, and observations with someone else. Find a reading buddy who wants to read the same book and discuss it afterward. As you read, use post-its to write down your thoughts or think about the questions that are often in the back of today’s novels.”

Heidi Annne Mesmer bio page

For more information, contact Bill Foy by email, or by phone at 540-998-0288.

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