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Read Comprehensively: Strategies and Tips

  Read Comprehensively: Strategies and Tips

Do you ever feel like you're not learning anything new from books? 

Do you ever feel like you’re reading the same book over and over again? It might be because you aren’t really understanding what you’re reading. In this article, we’ll show you how to read a book so that you can learn something new every time you pick it up.

Read Comprehensively: 8 Strategies 

•Before Reading: Predicting/Inferring 

•During Reading:  Visualizing, Making Connections, Questioning 

•After Reading:

      -Main Idea


      -Checking Predictions

      -Making Judgments 

Say to yourself “Know I this information?”

Picture what you read.

Organize in your mind all your study aids.

Remember to anotate information.

Tell yourself to go back to the “anotated” info.

Start with the Title.

You should start by looking at the title of the book. If you see a word that sounds familiar, then you probably need to do some research before diving into the text. For example, if you see “Independence Day”, you might think that you’ve seen the movie before. However, you haven’t. So, you need to find out more about the story before you dive into the book.

Next, check out the table of contents. 

It's usually located near the front of the book. If there isn't one, then you'll need to flip through the pages until you find it. Once you've found the table of contents, make sure to read the first few chapters. These are called the preface and introduction. They give you an overview of what the rest of the book is going to cover.

Find the Main Characters.

Now, start reading! However, if you're having trouble understanding something, take notes. That way, when you go back to the book later, you won't forget any details.

Read Comprehensively: Strategies and Tips

Know Where You Are Going.

It's easy to get lost when reading a book. That's why it's important to know where you're going before you start. Think about what you want to accomplish by the end of the book. What do you need to know? Who are the main characters? What does each character represent?

Reading benefits: Find out about them here!

 There are many Reading benefits reasons . Find out about them here!

Reading has been shown to improve memory, concentration, and focus. It also helps people learn new things, develop skills, and gain knowledge.

Reading Helps You Think Better.

Reading can: (1

• Sharpen intelligence and broaden perspectives• Allow us to examine how people think, judge and act.

• Make people better communicators or conversationalists

• Improve emotional intelligence• Expand mind and create a new path for self

• Enhance our thoughts and actions

• Build and deepen relationships through shared learning

• Give us (and our organisations) a sense of place in the expanse of human history

• Offer a lifelong learning toolbox to think about ourselves and the world

Reading improves memory. Reading provides an opportunity to exercise your brain and keep your mind sharp.

Reading benefits: You'll Expand Your Knowledge Base.

The benefits of reading are manifold and actually, they aresubstantiated through scientific research. Without the book, noman will know his course over the centuries. Libraries are "thememory of mankind" as books contain all the memorable eventsof the past. Obviously,any nation that does not know their historyis doomed to extinction and spiritual lethargy because knowledgeis power [2]. 

Reading gives you the chance to practice critical thinking skills. As you read, you'll notice patterns and connections between different ideas. These connections will help you develop your own unique perspective on the world. 

Reading benefits: You'll Develop an Encyclopedic Memory.

In addition to improving your ability to think critically, reading books will also help you memorize facts and figures. You'll develop an encyclopedic memory by learning how to recall details from multiple sources. You'll also learn how to use these details to support your arguments.

You'll improve your vocabulary. Reading books teaches you how to speak well. You'll learn new words and phrases, and you'll be able to express yourself clearly. 

Reading benefits: Find out about them here!

Reading benefits: You'll Be Able to Retrieve Information Quickly.

Reading books helps you retain information. This is because when you're reading, you're actively processing the information. If you watch TV, you're passively absorbing the information.

 You'll expand your knowledge base. By reading more books, you'll gain new perspectives on topics you've been studying. This will help you understand concepts better, and it will also give you a broader view of the world. 

If you're looking for ways to improve your life, then you should consider reading more books. It's one of the easiest things you can do to make yourself happier and healthier. Here are seven reasons why you should start reading more books today. 

1. You'll feel less stressed. Reading helps you relax because it allows you to escape into another world. You'll find yourself daydreaming as you read, and this distraction will take your mind off whatever is stressing you out. 

2. You'll improve your writing skills. Reading helps you write better essays and reports. You'll learn how to organize your thoughts and how to structure your sentences. 

3. You'll improve your listening skills. Reading helps you listen better. You'll learn how other people think and what motivates them. 

4. You'll improve your social skills. Reading helps you interact with others. You'll learn how people communicate with each other, and you'll pick up some tips on how to get along with others.

How Much Reading Per Day Is Ideal for Your Brain?

 How Much Reading Per Day Is Ideal for Your Brain?

Reading is “brain food”. Our brains develop as we “feed” them with experiences. . The ideal is a regular, consistent and daily reading, regardless of the amount.

There are many benefits to reading regularly. 

The experience of reading (whether you’re the readeror the one being read to) activates and “exercises” many of the areas of the brain. The visual cortex works asyour eyes track the words on the page and look at the illustrations. Your memory makes connections betweenwhat you already know about the topic of the story and its content. You integrate new information learnedthrough reading further strengthening and growing your network of knowledge. Reading provides one of themost enriching and complex brain activities available in life

Find out what they are!

Reading for pleasure has been shown to improve memory, concentration, and attention span. It also helps people learn new skills and develop new interests.

How much do you read?

When is the last time you read (on your own) an entire book? Short story? News article?

Even though you already know HOW to read, you still need to improve…like any skill, there are levels of proficiency (like sports)

Is where learning takes place

5 Steps to Read a Textbook or Point-of-View Nonfiction 

Pre-read with them for reflection

Preview readings

Review purpose for reading: study questions or problems

Read with purpose for answers, solutions  

Review readings 

Fluent Readers: 

Read for pleasure and interest with understanding

Use a variety of methods to identify words and meaning (phonic, graphic, contextual)

Read a good range of texts, making predictions and commenting on information

Relate the meaning to their own experiences and knowledge

How Much Reading Per Day Is Ideal for Your Brain

Benefits to reading regularly.

Boosts Memory.

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology found that adults who read at least one book per week had better cognitive function than those who didn’t read at all. Another study showed that older adults who read more were less likely to suffer from dementia.

Improves Focus.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), people who read daily have better focus and memory than those who do not. This is because reading stimulates brain activity and improves blood flow to the brain. It also helps with concentration and attention span.

Makes You Smarter.

In addition to improving your focus and memory, reading has other benefits. It can help you learn new things, improve your vocabulary, and even make you smarter.

Why reading is important?

 Why reading is important?

The Importance of Reading Books

Reading is an essential part of life. It helps us learn new things, understand others better, and enjoy ourselves. But how much should we read? And what kinds of books are best? Read on to find answers to these questions and more.

Why Read Books?

There are lots of reasons why people read books. They might want to learn something new, gain knowledge, or simply relax. But there are also practical benefits to reading. People who read regularly tend to live longer than those who don’t. In addition, reading improves memory, concentration, and 

What Are They Good For?

Books are an excellent source of information. They provide facts, figures, and statistics that can help you make better decisions. They can also teach you how to think critically and solve problems.

How Can They Help Us Improve Our Lives?

A book can help you learn new skills, gain knowledge, and develop yourself as a person. It can also give you inspiration and motivation to achieve goals.

How Do We Know That Reading Is Important?

There are several reasons why reading is so important. First, reading helps people understand other cultures and languages. Second, it allows people to expand their minds by learning more about different topics. Third, it gives people an opportunity to express themselves through writing. Fourth, it provides people with opportunities to practice critical thinking and problem solving. Finally, reading can provide people with entertainment and relaxation.

What is Reading for Pleasure ? 

Anything from poetry to instruction manuals, magazines, comics, biography, fiction, history, information – it’s a lifelong resource. You can do it anytime, anywhere.

 Why reading is important? Advantages of reading 

Reading books can have a positive effect on us:

    - we can acquire new knowledge, information from books

    - improve our imagination

    - get better our communication skills, widen our vocabulary

    - books make us think about different topics

    - books amuse us

The ability to read is vital.   

It paves the way for success in school and later life. 

Research shows that it's the single most important thing you can do to help your child's education. 

There are many reasons why we read and therefore why children will read:

  • for pleasure and interest
  • for work
  • to learn about the world e.g. in papers
  • to obtain information e.g. recipes and signs

5 Habits of Reading: How to Read More Books, Articles & Blogs

 Habits of Reading: How to Read More Books, Articles & Blogs

We all need to read more, but sometimes it’s hard to find the motivation to pick up a book. Here are some tips that will help you overcome those obstacles.

Set aside time to read.

If you want to read more, set aside time each day to do so. You might even consider setting aside an hour every night to read. This will give you something to look forward to when you wake up in the morning.

It's easy to become distracted by other things while reading. Try not to multitask while reading. Instead, focus on one thing at a time.

Read every day.

If you're serious about improving your reading skills, then make sure you read every day. You should aim to read at least 30 minutes per day. This will help you develop good reading habits and keep you motivated to continue reading.

What are the habits of successful readers? Find out here!

Reading is an important part of life for many people. It helps us learn new things, keep our minds sharp, and connect with others. But how do we become better readers? Here are some habits that will help you improve your reading skills.

5 Habits of Reading: How to Read More Books, Articles & Blogs

5 Habits of Reading

They Read Fast.

One of the first things you should do when you start reading is read fast. This means you should read at least one page per minute. If you can read faster than that, even better. You’ll notice that books written by authors who write quickly tend to be more enjoyable.

They Read Frequently.

Another habit of successful readers is to read frequently. It’s not uncommon for people to read only once every few months. However, successful readers read often. In fact, some studies suggest that successful readers read as much as five times a week.

They Read Often.

Reading often helps people learn new things and stay up-to-date with current events. It also provides an opportunity to practice reading skills. And finally, reading often improves memory and comprehension.

They Read Well.

There are several ways to improve your ability to read well. First, make sure you have enough time to devote to reading. Second, choose books that interest you. Third, find a quiet place where you won't be interrupted. Fourth, set aside some time each day to read. Finally, try different methods of reading, such as skimming, scanning, highlighting, and bookmarking.

They Read Long.

If you're looking to become a better reader, start by making sure you have plenty of time to spend reading. You'll also need to pick up good books that will keep you interested. And finally, you should dedicate some time every day to reading.

Why reading comprehension is important?

Why reading comprehension is important?

The Importance of Reading Comprehension Skills

What is Comprehension? 

The ability to construct meaning and learn from text using a variety of applied strategies.

The ultimate purpose of reading. World Knowledge and Word Knowledge are associated with text comprehension

If you want to excel at school, college, work, or even in life, then you need to develop strong reading comprehension skills. This skill will help you become more successful in any area of your life. 

To succeed in life, you must have good reading comprehension skills. Read on to discover why!

Reading comprehension is important: Reasons for Comprehension Difficulties (1

Lack of appropriate prior knowledge

Inability to relate content to prior knowledge

Over-reliance on background knowledge

Inability to read text fluently

Difficulty with decoding words

Inability to attend to meaning while reading

Inability to apply comprehension strategies

Difficulty with understanding meaning of words

Reading comprehension is an essential skill for success in school and beyond. It helps you understand written material, which is critical for understanding information presented in books, magazines, newspapers, and other media.

You Can Learn More About Anything Than You Think.

If you think you can only learn something by reading a book, then you might not realize how much more you can learn by actually doing it. In fact, there are some things you can learn.

Reading comprehension is important: Strategies  (2

  • Making connections
  • Questioning
  • Visualizing
  • Inferring
  • Determining importance
  • Synthesizing
  • Monitoring
  • Metacognition
  • Answering questions
  • Recognizing story structure
  • Summarizing

Reading Comprehension Helps You Understand Information Better.

Reading comprehension helps you understand information better because it allows you to connect what you read with other knowledge you already possess. It also helps you make sense of new information when you encounter it.

Reading Comprehension Gives You A Competitive Advantage Over Others.

The goal of reading comprehension is to construct meaning while reading

Proficient readers are able to construct meaning from text by drawing inferences during and after reading

Inferring allows readers to “read between the lines”, “to read at a deeper meaning”, and “to make their own discoveries about the text”

Why reading comprehension is important?

Reading Comprehension Makes You Smarter And More Successful In Life.

  • Need build stronger comprehension skills:
  • Identifying the sentences
  • Examining headings and subheadings
  • Adding information
  • Underlining transition phrases

It’s true that reading comprehension makes you smarter and more successful in life. However, there are some other benefits to developing these skills as well:

  • To read more independently
  • Reading and understanding, form ideas and opinions
  • Use higher order thinking skills to ask themselves questions
  • To read and apply accordingly and appropriately
  • Have more ownership

Robert Khayat’s new book ’60’ recounts momentous, life-altering year

Robert Khayat’s new book ’60’ recounts momentous, life-altering year

Robert Khayat, president of the Ole Miss M Club in 1960. (Nautilus Publishing)

Robert Khayat’s fascinating new book “60” — as in 1960 — comes with the subtitle: “A Year of Sports, Race and Politics.”

The year 1960 was all that and much more for Khayat, the future transformational chancellor of Ole Miss. What a whirlwind 1960 must have been for the impressionable young man from Moss Point, who turned 22 on April 18 that year.

Khayat began the year, on Jan. 1, helping the football Rebels crush LSU 21-0 in the Sugar Bowl. That spring, he was the slugging catcher for the Ole Miss baseball team that won the SEC Championship and would have been a national championship contender had it not been for the unwritten rule that barred Mississippi’s all-white colleges from competing against integrated teams. Drafted by the NFL’s Cleveland Browns, he was traded to the Washington Redskins before he ever played a game. As fate did have it, Washington was the only NFL team that had not integrated. He came in second in NFL Rookie of the Year voting. He was selected for the Pro Bowl, where a devastating injury would change his life.

And that’s just the sports part.

In politics, 1960 was the year Ross Barnett became Mississippi’s governor and the year John F. Kennedy was elected president, thus foreshadowing a showdown that would come. On the Mississippi Gulf Coast, 1960 was also a year when Robert Khayat’s father, Edward A. Khayat, was gaining power and popularity as a county supervisor with much higher political ambitions that would later come crashing down.

As for race, well, in 1960 race relations provided the backdrop for most everything else. Indeed, Ole Miss and LSU played the rare rematch in the Sugar Bowl largely because neither was allowed to play against teams with Black players. The year 1960 was also when James Meredith first applied for admission to Ole Miss. It was when four college students in Greensboro, N.C., took a stand against segregation when they refused to leave a Woolworth’s lunch counter without being served, thus launching sit-ins and demonstrations in dozens of cities across the South.

On April 24, 1960, one day after Ole Miss clinched the SEC Western Division baseball title, an estimated 125 Black citizens protested the Mississippi Gulf Coast's segregated beaches with a “wade in” at Biloxi beach. About 300 whites gathered on the seawall to challenge the protest. The protestors thought they would receive police protection. They were wrong. Many were badly injured. Twenty-three people were arrested, 22 were Black. A young Robert Khayat, the Gulf Coast native, was appalled.

Robert Khayat's book "60" comes eight years after his award-winning book "Education of a Lifetime."
"60" comes eight years after Robert Khayat's award-winning "Education of a Lifetime." (Nautilus Publishing)

Khayat’s book, edited by noted author Neil White for Nautilus Publishing, weaves all this together with rich, anecdotal storytelling. At times, it will make you laugh out loud. At others, it will make you want to cry.

This book comes eight years after Khayat’s “Education of a Lifetime,” which won numerous awards statewide, regional and national in scope. Says White, “That first book was framed on his years as chancellor, but Robert said then he thought he had a lot more stories he wanted to tell. In our conversations, he kept coming back to 1960 and all that happened in Mississippi, in America and with him personally. That’s this book.”

In it, Khayat writes much of his upbringing in Moss Point and his Lebanese heritage. His father was especially dark-skinned, so much so that he was asked to sit toward the rear of the Methodist church the family attended. The reader needs little imagination to believe much of Khayat’s later stance on social justice and compassion at Ole Miss at least partially was formed at an early age.

No report about “60” would be complete without at least one example of his anecdotal writing. In August of that year, Khayat flew to Chicago to take part in the annual College All-Star Game that matched a group of college all-stars against the defending NFL champions — that year the Baltimore Colts. The Colts’ lopsided victory was predictable. The Khayat’s first play was not.

“I assumed my position at left guard,” Khayat wrote. "With my hands on my knees I looked across the line of scrimmage and stared straight into my opponent’s sternum. The number of his jersey read '76.' That number belonged to a man named Eugene ‘Big Daddy’ Lipscomb."

Big Daddy Lipscomb was already an NFL legend, a giant of a man. He dwarfed Khayat, who had just begun to shave.

“Big Daddy was 6-feet-8. He weighed just under 300 pounds. I was a 22-year-old kid from Mississippi. He was a 31-year-old man who grew up in Detroit. Big Daddy’s dark, thick beard was tucked behind a gray face mask… I looked up at him.

“‘’Boy,’ Big Daddy said, ‘does your mama know you are out here tonight?’

“‘Yes sir,’ I answered. Then the ball was snapped and I was dealt a crushing blow from his huge right forearm. Big Daddy brushed me aside as if I were a fly and tackled our ball carrier for a loss.”

Khayat ends that anecdote with this: “I began to wonder if professional football was really my destiny.”

As it turns out, Robert Khayat’s destiny far surpassed a relatively short, injury-riddled NFL career. Sixty-one years after ’60, we learn how that remarkably eventful year shaped his future.

This article first appeared on Mississippi Today and is republished here under a Creative Commons license



Children's e-books can be harmful?

E-books for kids raise questions about consequences

Evolution of children’s literature into high-tech form may offer benefits, but also some detriments


Grandma’s picture books had colored ink. Dad’s had pop-outs and fun textures.

Today kids’ books can feature videos in place of illustrations, define words aloud and have characters that walk across the page.

As traditional books evolve and mingle with portable device technology, parents, educators and developmental psychologists want to know what the consequences may be. Are so many bells and whistles in children’s early reading material helpful, benign or maybe even harmful?

Proponents of digital storybooks say that the interactive features increase child and parent engagement, accelerating children’s grasp on reading and language. Critics say the format is distracting and impedes focus and comprehension of the content. “On both sides, there are studies saying that e-books are detrimental and studies saying that there’s no difference,” says education and learning researcher Brenna Hassinger-Das of Pace University in New York City, who coauthored an overview of young children and digital media in the 2020  Annual Review of Developmental Psychology. “E-books are constantly changing, too, which is the other piece … and we’re trying to keep up with all the developments.”

The answers are important, Hassinger-Das adds, because e-books are becoming ever more interactive and popular. Since the 2010s, when use of products like smartphones and the iPad were becoming widespread, e-book–compatible devices have become more common in the home; libraries continue to expand their e-book collections; and schools increasingly include them in their curricula. As reading time and screen time become one and the same, parents of young children find it harder to draw the line between time well spent and time wasted.

Though the science is far from settled, themes are emerging: that less is more when it comes to fancy features, and that parent involvement is key — in most cases, anyway. As artificial intelligence and interactive reading apps continue to develop, some educators and researchers see equalizing potential for situations where parents, for whatever reason, don’t or can’t read to their young children.

Adventures in childhood literacy 

Children’s literacy tools were in use long before societies considered reading a necessary part of every child’s development. “Children’s books have always wanted to help make the best possible child, the happiest child, the child who knows things, who understands the world, understands themselves,” says Kim Reynolds, a historian of children’s literature at Newcastle University in the UK.

The children of nobles in ancient Rome read stories handwritten on scrolls, but it wasn’t until the 1400s, after invention of the printing press, that children’s reading material (and literacy) became more widespread. Hornbooks — typically wooden paddles with a single sheet of vellum or paper overlaid with protective, transparent horn — became popular, though they were hardly books in the modern sense. They contained only what adults considered essential: the alphabet, numbers and the Lord’s Prayer. “The idea of what the best possible child is has changed a lot,” Reynolds says.

In 1744, John Newbery published A Little Pretty Pocket Book, widely considered to be the first kids’ book created purely for enjoyment, with games, funny stories and illustrations. By the 19th century, authors began to recognize that children, like adults, have their own internal conflicts, proclivities and fantasies. Fairy tales and fantastical stories such as  The King of the Golden River and  Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland grew in popularity.

With the advent of radio, film, television and video games, children’s literature interacted with each new medium, providing fodder for story lines on the one hand and, say, adopting popular TV characters on the other. By the early 1990s, printed books began to offer buttons to trigger sounds. And in 1999, kids’ books took a big jump toward digital when the toy company LeapFrog released the LeapPad, a plastic, electronic holder for spiral-bound books that responded with sound effects, word definitions and stories when a child pressed “pen” to page.

E-book technology and options have massively expanded since Amazon’s 2007 release of the Kindle, followed by the development of the tablet and smartphone; their use in homes, schools and libraries is flourishing. To be sure, traditional books still predominate, but e-book use is on the rise and especially so among some demographic groups. A nationally representative survey on children ages zero to 8 conducted by the nonprofit organization Common Sense Media found that Black and lower-income families are using e-books as a greater percentage of their reading time than white or wealthy families are.

This could be important. Developmental psychologists, educators and literacy advocates have long known that reading to young children can improve their later reading proficiency and promote cognitive skills such as close listening, creative thinking and focusing for extended lengths of time. And the benefits accrue early, according to a study of 250 pairs of 6-month-old infants and their mothers presented at a 2017 Pediatric Academic Societies meeting. Both the amount of shared book-reading (numbers of books in the home and days spent reading) and its quality (the amount and nature of parent-child interaction) predicted better vocabulary, language and reading skills four years later.

Another study estimated that a child who is read to daily will hear an average of 1.4 million more words before the age of 5 than a child who is not, based on an analysis of 60 commonly read children’s books in the US.

Co-reading with traditional books involves interpreting illustrations together, turning pages or perhaps using a finger to follow along with the text. For e-books, the possible interactive features are far greater. Give the tablet a shake and the animated characters bobble their heads. Tap the screen and hear the cow say “Moo.” Help a character find her toy by dragging the illustrations around. How might these attractions (or distractions) affect the nature and benefits of co-reading?

To try and tease this apart, researchers at Temple University in Philadelphia and colleagues videotaped 92 pairs of parents and children age 3 or 5 co-reading traditional books or e-books for five minutes, then coded the spoken words and behaviors. The 2013 study found that when parent-child pairs read stories on a touch-sensitive, spiral-bound e-book console, they often took more than the allotted time to finish the books. That’s because “children wanted to activate every possible sound effect on each page before moving to the next page,” the authors wrote. Discussion centered more on behavior (“Stop pressing the button”) and less on connecting the story to the child’s life (“Remember when we went to the doctor, like Caillou?”).

In a follow-up study, 3-year-olds under both conditions were equally adept at easy things like identifying characters and events. But the traditional book group scored 15 percentage points higher, on average, for questions that asked them to recall more complex aspects of a story, such as sequence of events. This suggests that interactive features can distract early readers and reduce their overall learning and comprehension.

A 2016 study by Hassinger-Das and colleagues found differently, though. In this case, 86 parent-child pairs (again 3- or 5-year-olds) were randomly assigned to read or listen to one of four types of books: a plain, noninteractive e-book, a “read to me” e-book with audio, an e-book with hot spots — such as a button that plays a video related to the story — or a traditional book. The participants were instructed to read “as you normally would” and their words and behaviors were coded. Then the researchers asked the children a series of story comprehension questions. 

The researchers found no comprehension differences based on book type. But they did find a difference based on how the parents read with kids. Kids did better, no matter what kind of book they were being read, if the parents used a style known as dialogic reading, in which the adult poses questions and prompts the child to relate the story to their own life.

“Pointing out something on the page, like if there’s a bear or other animal, and saying, ‘Oh, remember when we went to the zoo and we saw a bear there and you liked it and you learned about it?’ Tying it in like that helps make it more meaningful for kids,” says Hassinger-Das. “They’re going to remember information when they connect it to their real life.” 

Beyond that, she says, “If you have a paper book and an e-book and you are reading them in the same way, there’s not going to be any difference, in my mind.”

Assessing interactivity

Studies do suggest that interactive e-books could aid learning in situations where a parent isn’t available. In a 2020 study on 36 1-year-olds in Tokyo, the babies could learn the association between an on-screen object and a made-up word — as measured by their gaze — when, during the teaching phase, an animated character gestured towards the objects and responded to the infants’ gaze with “eye contact” and a smile. In trials where the character did not respond in humanlike ways, the infants did not learn these new word-object associations.

If e-books can provide meaningful, albeit artificial, social interaction that helps children absorb and retain information, “there are kids that I think would really benefit from that,” Hassinger-Das says. “Kids who are learning a second language, for example, and don’t have a parent who can read with them in that language.”

E-books also might be particularly helpful for kids with learning challenges such as dyslexia, or for those who don’t have access to schools or other educational materials, says Maryanne Wolf, a cognitive neuroscientist at UCLA and cofounder of the nonprofit Curious Learning, which endeavors to bring e-books and reading apps to children around the world in such situations. “There are good uses for e-books — it’s not an either-or binary situation,” she says.

In 2012, for example, Curious Learning researchers conducted a pilot study in which they gave tablets preloaded with early literacy apps and e-books to 40 Ethiopian children ages 4 to 11 who had no school access and whose parents could not read. With no instructions given for using the devices, nine months later the children had taught themselves basic reading skills. Some could perform as well as American kindergartners on English vocabulary, letter sounds and reading tests. According to Curious Learning, four years later a handful of children who had continued to use the tablets were reading at a US first- or second-grade level in Oromo, their native language 

A similar pilot study was conducted by Google before it released a free app called Read Along, which uses AI and speech recognition technology to help kids expand their reading skills. The ad-free program comes with some 500 stories and a “reading buddy” named Diya who recognizes and responds with visual and auditory cues when a child is struggling to read aloud or pronounce words.

Diya also gives positive feedback, “just as a parent or teacher would,” the Google developers say. In a 2019 summary describing reading proficiency after three months in some 1,500 children from rural villages in India, Google reported that 64 percent of the children who used Read Along improved their reading level, compared with just 40 percent of children who didn’t receive the app.

Such tech could, if used well, serve as an opportunity equalizer, Wolf says — by offering a lot of the benefits of co-reading to underserved children. But she is hesitant to turn to e-books as a reading tool for all early readers. Young children, she says, are too distractible. They can’t yet override the novelty, or orienting, reflex, an evolutionary response that causes us to automatically pay attention to new stimuli.

“All the bells and whistles that the digital materials bring to the child are actually overwhelming the attentional system,” Wolf says. “The child’s attention is going to be consistently, continuously distracted by all those extra things that the makers thought were very creative and exciting.”

Wolf advocates instead for a parallel use of print and digital media. Children could learn to read primarily from print materials for their first five to 10 years but be engaged with digital media for the development of other skills, such as learning how to use keyboards or the internet. “I believe, without a doubt, that this concept of a world steeped in both mediums is where we should go, but we should go there carefully,” she says.

Other researchers have deeper concerns about the physiological impacts of learning from screens. “There’s this myth that we’re going to invent a technology that’s better than the human experience,” says neuroscientist and pediatrician John Hutton of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, who studies early brain development. “We’re basically taking all this new technology and giving it to kids at younger and younger ages and expecting nothing bad to happen.”

“We, as a society, make children wait to do all kinds of things.... I would argue that very young children probably aren’t quite ready developmentally to use this technology yet.” 

John Hutton

In 2019, Hutton and colleagues published a study in which they used magnetic resonance imaging to measure neural connectivity in the brains of 47 preschool-aged children from mostly middle- and upper-class families. The team looked at white matter, the bundles of nerve fibers that connect various regions of the brain and allow them to work in concert. In growing brains, Hutton says, the neural connections that are exercised often are physically reinforced, while those that are seldom used will weaken or eventually disappear. Speaking broadly, Hutton says, stronger connections mean more efficient signaling, which can result in quicker thinking and better memory.

Hutton’s study examined neural connections between several brain regions including Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas, which are associated with language, speech and early literacy skills, and other regions related to executive function, such as staying on task and storing information. It compared scans of kids whose digital media use (as reported by parents) either exceeded, or didn’t exceed, limits advised by the American Academy of Pediatrics, including capping noneducational screen time at one hour per day.

As a group, kids exceeding those limits had weaker connections between some of these regions than kids whose screen time was lower, the study found. They also had lower reading and language skills, though household income level appeared to be a factor in those scores.

“When we published this study, the first thing a lot of news channels asked was, ‘Are you saying screen time causes brain damage, is it toxic?’” Hutton says. “And there’s really not a lot of evidence that it is.” The problem, he says, is more about activities that screen time is displacing — such as social interaction with family. Hutton says he is particularly concerned about the possible effects of screen time on early language development, because mastering language requires so much back and forth between adults and children.

Hutton thinks that e-books might have great potential as learning tools but sees reason to proceed with caution for young learners. The developing brain, he says, has sensitive periods for learning certain skills, and if a child doesn’t properly acquire a skill such as language during its associated critical period, they may never gain full proficiency. If excessive early e-book use means that children miss out on the benefits of co-reading with parents, there could be consequences, he says.

“We, as a society, make children wait to do all kinds of things,” he adds. “We make them wait to drive a car, to own a gun or cook on a stove. We do this because we don’t think they’re quite ready, and I would argue that very young children probably aren’t quite ready developmentally to use this technology yet.”

Proceeding with caution

Many parents seem to be exercising caution. According to a 2014 survey of more than 1,500 American families, half of the parents of 2- to 10-year-olds who owned e-readers said their kids weren’t allowed to use them. About 45 percent said they preferred their child got the traditional book experience. Around 30 percent said they didn’t want e-books to add to the kids’ daily screen time, and 27 percent that they believed print books are better for children’s reading skills.

A similar survey, of 1,500 parents in the UK, found in 2016 that 35 percent of parents resisted interactive e-books out of concern that their children will lose interest in reading in print. Nearly two in three said they wanted more advice on using e-books in a way that will help their children learn, and nearly one in three said they felt confused about making the right choices about their children’s e-book use.

Parents who do use e-books surely want to make good choices. One tip, researchers say, is to turn to  reviews and recommendations by Common Sense Media, which gauges the content of e-books and other media for educational worth as well as for teachable skills like integrity, self-direction and emotional development.

Another is to consider four principles or pillars of learning that developmental psychologists and early education specialists use to assess the quality of e-books and other media for children: that the content fosters active involvement, engages the child and is meaningful and socially interactive. 

Jennifer Zosh, a human development researcher at Penn State Brandywine, says that the engagement pillar is especially difficult to perfect in children’s media because it’s easy for developers to get carried away with sound effects, little games and cool graphics. “Kids like it, it’s fun,” she says. “I think a lot of app developers do it to make the app entertaining, but it actually disrupts learning.”

Quality is a crucial consideration, say childhood learning advocates and researchers. They worry that poorer children are more likely to consume free content that often contains distracting ads or is designed to be entertaining rather than educational. “It’s hard work to figure out how educational something really is,” says Zosh, who coauthored a 2015 literature review on educational apps. “It’s so sad when you see kids playing with an alphabet learning app and then all of a sudden, here comes an advertisement for Candy Crush.” 

And though many an e-book may boast that it’s “educational,” there are no universal standards around that term. “There are some really beautifully designed, well-researched e-book products and platforms, and there are also some really shoddy pieces put together with an eye toward making a buck off of a parent,” says child literacy advocate and author Lisa Guernsey, who directs the Teaching, Learning and Tech program at the think tank New America.

Well-designed e-books, Guernsey says, prioritize age-appropriate learning. Others — often the ones that attract the most customers — do too much. “There are some e-books that are trying to be very simple,” she says. “The sad thing is, I don’t think they’ve done very well in the marketplace.”

As books continue to develop and transmogrify into forms that our younger selves might barely recognize, disquieted parents can draw some comfort from considering the past, says Reynolds, the historian. “There was hostility to reading when reading first came in,” she reminds us. “And now we value reading and have hostility to other things that we think might be pulling children away from the values of the culture as we know it. 

“I don’t think you need to be frightened of new media. Just wait and see how things cross-fertilize — and new things, new stories and new possibilities will come from them.”

This article originally appeared in Knowable Magazine, an independent journalistic endeavor from Annual Reviews. 

Children's e-books can be harmful?

Knowable Magazine | Annual Reviews


How can journalists and academics collaborate effectively?

9 tips for effective collaborations between journalists and academic researchers

In 2013, Timothy McGinty, then the Cuyahoga County prosecutor, launched a task force to begin testing untested rape kits in the Cleveland area. From 1993 through 2011, about 7,000 rape kits had gone untested.

McGinty invited Rachel Dissell, then an investigative reporter with the Plain Dealer, and Rachel Lovell, a professor at Case Western Reserve University, to observe the task force’s work.

Dissell had reported on untested rape kits in Cleveland since 2009, while Lovell and other researchers were there to help prosecutors parse data and identify trends.

Hundreds of rape convictions from cold cases followed.

So did a years-long partnership between Dissell and Lovell.

The reporter and the researcher sat next to each other during task force meetings and compared notes. They asked each other questions that spurred new reporting and research directions. They met for dinner to process what they were learning. They explored themes and patterns across cases, like rapes alleged to have occurred near transit stations, which law enforcement officials had overlooked.

Their interactions throughout the 2010s informed both Dissell’s reporting in the Plain Dealer and Lovell’s analyses of task force cases. But it wasn’t until their March 2021 paper in the Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice that they shared a byline.

We recently spoke with Dissell and Lovell to find out what they learned from each other and how partnerships like theirs can inform the public in ways researchers and reporters can’t on their own.

These 9 tips, adapted from the paper with permission, can help other reporters and researchers get their own collaborations off the ground. Such collaborations can enhance public understanding of complex, traumatic and consequential topics.

1. Move beyond quick, one-time interactions.

Reporters and academics typically have one-off interactions. An academic develops research, sometimes for years, on a topic they’re passionate about. The work is published in a peer-reviewed journal or as a working paper. An editor or journalist thinks the work could be useful or interesting to the local community. The journalist interviews the researcher, produces a story. The interaction ends.

Partnerships -- or even researchers and reporters checking in with each other once in a while -- can inform the public in a more nuanced way than researchers and reporters can on their own. The relationship becomes an ongoing conversation rather than a transaction.

If the relationship builds to a true partnership, with reporter and researcher regularly checking in and sharing ideas, it will be helpful for both parties to understand their respective institutions’ ethical guidelines. They should discuss when to talk on and off the record, whether and how they will share credit and the extent to which they can share data and other information.

2. Do the foundational work needed to foster collaboration.

It takes time and consistent communication to build mutual trust and an effective working relationship. Both reporter and researcher need to commit to accuracy, appreciate each other’s craft and put egos aside to discuss alternative or novel approaches to find answers.

For Dissell and Lovell, this foundational work happened organically and informally during Cuyahoga County task force meetings.  

3. Researchers: Get to know reporters and do your homework.

Journalists are generally well informed about what’s happening in their community or coverage area. That doesn’t mean journalists will be as informed about academic research. If researchers -- particularly those working on applied topics that directly influence policy -- want their work to have a positive real-world impact, they should proactively reach out to local reporters who cover the same topics.

(Applied research seeks to solve real-life problems. Basic research seeks to advance scientific knowledge but might not have immediate practical applications.)

Researchers at colleges and universities who are having trouble connecting with reporters can turn to their institution’s media relations office for help. They should take advantage of media trainings, offer their expertise to reporters and offer reporters access to research behind paywalls.

Researchers can reach out to journalists at any time -- they don’t need to have specific work they want covered before contacting reporters. In fact, they’re more likely to get their work covered when it’s ready if they build relationships with reporters beforehand.

4. Respect roles and rules.

Reporters and researchers have broadly the same objective: to advance public understanding and knowledge. As Lovell and Dissell write in their paper, researchers and reporters, “share the goal of disseminating what they have learned and employ similar information gathering methods, including interviewing key subjects/stakeholders and collecting and analyzing data.”

But reporters and researchers have different ways of achieving that end. For example, reporters must ask hard questions, hold power to account and meet tight deadlines.

Applied researchers must balance maintaining objectivity with fostering relationships with practitioners in the field -- for example, advocates at non-profits who work with sexual assault victims and survivors -- according to contracts and data use agreements.

For a reporter-researcher partnership to be successful and enhance public knowledge, reporter and researcher need to be aware of and respect their different roles.

5. Communicate openly and often about goals, concerns, deadlines and dissemination.

Reporter-researcher partnerships can be fruitful, but there can be challenges. Reporters, for example, often work under tight deadlines. They should remember that researchers aren’t usually used to quick turnarounds and don’t use concise language. Reporters should “be patient with researchers’ jargon-y windedness,” Lovell and Dissell write.

Trust can be built over time with clear communication about how each side will use information, and any ethical concerns. They should have pragmatic conversations about deadlines, research embargoes and confidentiality agreements with subjects.

6. Take time to relax -- and brainstorm.

Casual conversation can pay off. Lovell and Dissell write that some of their best ideas for research topics and journalistic angles “came out of unstructured conversations led by curiosity, which often involved meeting up for coffee or wine -- a key ingredient for good journalism and valuable research.”

7. Acknowledge, and talk about, the emotional toll the work can take.

Researching and reporting on traumatic events can lead to secondary trauma -- trauma that arises from engaging with victims and survivors who directly experienced trauma.

Secondary trauma can crop up at unexpected times. Lovell recalls feeling anxiety walking through a parking lot, even though there was no threat, because the experience reminded her of a rape report that began similarly.

Be kind to yourself and seek help, if needed. For Dissell and Lovell, their partnership itself served as an outlet to talk through secondary trauma.

“The main mechanism for people to deal with secondary trauma is having a mechanism for processing it,” Lovell says. “And it’s literally being able to verbalize it.”

8. Try to anticipate the unintended consequences of widespread coverage of trauma.

Problems in institutions that prevent citizens from achieving justice, such as law enforcement agencies that don’t test rape kits, deserve attention.

But know that reporting on and researching crime can be re-traumatizing for victims and survivors. For Dissell and Lovell, revealing problems with their local criminal justice system was important. But it was equally important to highlight ideas, lessons learned and solutions that might lead to measurable change.

In a 2019 special investigation for the Plain Dealer, Dissell follows the story of Sandi Fedor, a rape survivor who sought justice for herself after police dropped her case without telling her.

“The persistent problems within the city’s sex crimes unit span decades,” Dissell writes. “Sandi’s story reveals the human cost of those failings for her, the detectives assigned to work the cases and the Greater Cleveland community.”

9. Seek funding for researcher-reporter partnerships.

Dissell and Lovell happened to be covering and researching a topic their respective employers were willing to pay for. From day one, they talked about writing a book together. But they haven’t had the time -- or funding -- to make a book happen.

“Funding would certainly go a long way to sustain such efforts,” they write.

Numerous grants for journalists that can be found via a simple web search. The NewsLab at the University of Mississippi maintains a list of fellowships and grants. The Global Investigative Journalism Network has an extensive roundup of national and international grant opportunities. The Solutions Journalism Network, the Society of Professional Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors also offer reporting grants, fellowships and training resources for organizations and individuals.

Legal and other support services for victims and survivors of sexual violence include SurvJustice, the National Sexual Violence Resource Center and RAINN.

For more information on covering sexual violence, learn why sexual assault survivors may not come forward for years, the economic costs of sexual violence and three themes from national news coverage of three sexual assaults.

Plus, find out what Disell and Lovell learned from each other in our Q&A with them.

This article first appeared on The Journalist's Resource and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

How can journalists and academics collaborate effectively?
by Pixabay


The Book has not disappeared

Truth! The Book has not disappeared. Check out this article published in The Conversation in 2016.

The myth of the disappearing book

Simone Natale, Loughborough University and Andrea Ballatore, Birkbeck, University of London

After years of sales growth, major publishers reported a fall in their e-book sales for the first time this year, introducing new doubts about the potential of e-books in the publishing industry. A Penguin executive even admitted recently that the e-books hype may have driven unwise investment, with the company losing too much confidence in “the power of the word on the page.”

Yet despite the increasing realization that digital and print can easily coexist in the market, the question of whether the e-book will “kill” the print book continues to surface. It doesn’t matter if the intention is to predict or dismiss this possibility; the potential disappearance of the book does not cease to stimulate our imagination.

Why is this idea so powerful? Why do we continue to question the encounter between e-books and print books in terms of a struggle, even if all evidence points to their peaceful coexistence?

The answers to these questions go beyond e-books and tell us much more about the mixture of excitement and fear we feel about innovation and change. In our research, we discuss how the idea of one medium “killing” another has often followed the unveiling of new technologies.

It’s all happened before

Even before the advent of digital technologies, critics have predicted the demise of existing media. After television was invented, many claimed radio would die. But radio ended up surviving by finding new uses; people started listening in cars, during train rides and on factory floors.

The myth of the disappearing book isn’t new, either. As early as 1894, there was speculation that the introduction of the phonograph would spell the demise of the books: They’d be replaced by what we today call audiobooks.

This happened again and again. Movies, radio, television, hyperlinks and smartphones – all conspired to destroy print books as a source of culture and entertainment. Some claimed the end of books would result in cultural regression and decline. Others envisioned utopian digital futures, overstating the advantages of e-books.

It is not by chance that the idea of the death of the book surfaces in moments of technological change. This narrative, in fact, perfectly conveys the mixture of hopes and fears that characterize our deepest reactions to technological change.

Narratives of technological change

To understand why these reactions are so common, one has to consider that we create emotional bonds with media as they become an integral part of our life. Numerous studies have shown how people develop a close relationship with objects such as books, televisions and computers. Sometimes, we even humanize them, giving a name to our car or shouting at our laptop for not working properly. As a result, the emergence of a new technology – like e-readers – doesn’t just indicate economic and social change. It also causes us to adjust our relationship with something that has become an integral part of our day-to-day life.

As a result, we find ourselves longing for what we used to know, but no longer have. And it’s why entire industries develop around retro products and older technologies. The spread of the printing press in 15th-century Europe, for example, made people seek out original manuscripts. The shift from silent to sound movie in the 1920s stimulated nostalgia for the older form. The same happened in the shift from analog to digital photography, from vinyls to CDs, or from black-and-white to color television. Not surprisingly, e-readers stimulated a new appreciation for the material quality of “old” books – and even for their often unpleasant smell.

The ones who still worry for the disappearance of print books may rest assured: Books have endured many technical revolutions, and are in the best position to survive this one.

Yet the myth of the disappearing medium will continue to provide an appealing narrative about both the transformative power of technology and our aversion to change. In fact, one of the strategies we employ in order to make sense of change is the use of narrative patterns that are available and familiar, such as narratives of death and ending. Easy to remember and to spread, the story of the death of media reflects our excitement for the future, as well as our fear of losing parts of our intimate world – and finally, of ourselves.

Simone Natale, Lecturer in Communication and Media Studies, Loughborough University and Andrea Ballatore, Lecturer, Birkbeck, University of London

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

The Book has not disappeared

The Conversation

The ‘Mystery’ Illnesses Informed by Culture | Book Review by Elizabeth Svoboda

Book Review: The ‘Mystery’ Illnesses Informed by Culture

October 8, 2021 by Elizabeth Svoboda

In late 2017, media reports began to appear about a real-life 9-year-old Sleeping Beauty. Sophie, an asylum seeker who lived in a small Swedish town, had slipped into something resembling a coma for more than a year. Though medical tests suggested she was healthy, she scarcely ever stirred beneath her pink blanket. A clear feeding tube snaked from her nose since she never awakened even to eat.

While her condition wasn’t novel — others refugees had reported similar symptoms prior — Sophie’s mysterious stasis helped launch neurologist Suzanne O’Sullivan on a book-length reporting journey. She had already spent years seeing patients with symptoms and disabilities, from convulsions to leaden limbs, for which no clear biological cause could be found.

O’Sullivan had thought of such illnesses primarily as products of the mind’s effects on the body. Yet the Swedish outbreak of what doctors called “uppgivenhetssyndrom,” or “resignation syndrome” in English, prompted her to consider how profoundly social and community influences guided the disease process — which explained why uppgivenhetssyndrom primarily exists in Sweden’s refugee community. “That single extreme example,” O’Sullivan writes, “was the reminder I needed of just how much society and culture matter in the shaping of illness.”

In "The Sleeping Beauties: And Other Stories of Mystery Illness,” O’Sullivan invites readers to move beyond the Western concept of disease as a failure of individual biology. She crisscrosses the globe to investigate “culture-bound” syndromes that occur mostly within specific communities. Besides uppgivenhetssyndrom, O’Sullivan delves into poorly understood conditions like “grisi siknis” hallucinations and convulsions that occur among the Miskito people of coastal Honduras and Nicaragua — and Havana syndrome, a pattern of dizziness and hearing impairment that first appeared five years ago among foreign diplomats stationed in Cuba. But “The Sleeping Beauties” is about something more fundamental: how humans unconsciously express their struggles in physical ways those around them will understand.

Despite the phrase “mystery illness” in her book’s title, O’Sullivan believes few such illnesses are as cryptic as they seem, so long as they’re assessed in the right cultural context. Swedish refugees like Sophie often have traumatic histories that instill what’s sometimes called learned helplessness — a sense they can do nothing about terrible events that befall them. Before escaping her home country in the former Soviet Union, Sophie saw her father taken by police and her mother beaten by men with connections to the mafia. When Sophie and other asylum seekers slipped into long stretches of unresponsiveness, O’Sullivan theorizes, they were embodying the hopelessness they felt in a way other refugee children also had, “unconsciously playing out a sick role that has entered the folklore of their small community.” Culturally influenced reactions like Sophie’s, O’Sullivan stresses, have nothing to do with fakery, but are very real, physical manifestations of distress.

Through the case studies she explores, O’Sullivan unpacks the complex process by which culturally influenced thought patterns and assumptions can alter behavior and even brain function itself, and how those changes, in turn, can further entrench symptoms. One of her patients, who struggled with a heavy college workload, had local doctors attribute her dizzy spells to blood pressure drops when she stood up — a verdict her family endorsed as clear evidence her illness was real. But when O’Sullivan tested the woman in her office, her blood pressure remained stable, even as she complained that her head was spinning.

She “believed that standing when she felt dizzy would inevitably lead to collapse,” O’Sullivan writes. “So, when she tried to stand, her expectations overwhelmed her nervous system and fulfilled her prophecy.” Likewise, among the Miskito people of Central America, the community narrative that grisi siknis causes convulsions can foster seizure-like activity in those with the condition — though with none of the brain activity associated with epileptic seizures.

Telling patients that community-driven expectations play into disease symptoms tends not to go over well, however. They feel as if doctors are telling them they’re making themselves sick, so they often go to great lengths to deny their symptoms have social origins. When O’Sullivan visited Sweden, a doctor there hoped she would supply a biological explanation for uppgivenhetssyndrom, just as some of her patients clamored to be told they had a “real” disease like epilepsy. Finding “an objective change on a blood test or scan,” O’Sullivan writes, “allows others to believe in the suffering.” But a search for such evidence might not be necessary, she thinks, if most doctors took cultural and social drivers of illness more seriously.

“The Sleeping Beauties” makes a major contribution in highlighting the mismatch between existing medical norms — which prize discrete evidence of physical disease — and the reality that illness is a complex entity with braided social, mental, and biological components. In exploring the many cultural lenses through which sickness can be viewed, O’Sullivan prompts readers to consider not just the origins of mystery illnesses, but the way social expectations shape everyone’s experiences of disease.

Someone in the United States or Europe, for instance, might believe depression arises from a serotonin imbalance that should be medicated, an assumption that’s normal in the culture they inhabit. But someone in another culture might see depression as a result of life events that they can confront and alter. O’Sullivan argues that this take can be just as helpful — if not more so in some cases — because it prompts people to define themselves not as victims, but as architects of their own growth and healing. She sometimes goes too far in bemoaning the perils of Westernized diagnosis, contending that “we make sick people” with our zeal for medicalized labels. Yet there is something refreshing, almost Jungian, in her recognition that other cultures may be better at understanding struggle or pain as possible routes to broadening human potential.

Though O’Sullivan is not a reporter by training, her storytelling chops shine throughout. In each location she visits, from Sweden and Texas to a former mining town in Kazakhstan, she patiently builds trust with families to understand what caused specific social contagions. She channels communities’ desperation as they grasp for answers, however unlikely. After a surge of Tourette-like tics among teens in Le Roy, New York, she writes, “somebody told reporters that, when the Jell-O factory was open, the creek that ran through the town used to change color according to the flavor being manufactured on any given day. Who knew what toxins had been left behind?”

She relays tense exchanges with a cinematic eye, as when she pushes back against the patient who’s convinced that her frequent blank spells mean she has epilepsy. And her descriptions of a young Swedish patient in prolonged sleep are both lyrical and chilling: “She looked serene, like the princess who had eaten the poisoned apple.”

To this day, some Swedish refugee children remain victims of uppgivenhetssyndrom — living reminders that we have a long way to go in untangling the complex snarl of factors that create illness. Yet as their families settle into new, safe surroundings, many of the children recover, emerging from their slumber months later to re-engage with their families and communities. “The Sleeping Beauties” makes the passionate case that embracing more inclusive definitions of disease — addressing its psychological and social causes with as much rigor as its physical ones — can help mystery illness sufferers reconnect with the world.

Elizabeth Svoboda is a science writer based in San Jose, California. Her most recent book for children is "The Life Heroic."

This article was originally published on Undark. Read the original article.

The ‘Mystery’ Illnesses Informed by Culture | Book Review by Elizabeth Svoboda
by Pixabay


How to choose books to read?

 How to choose books to read?

What is Literature? 


Literature is a term used to describe written or spoken material. Broadly speaking, "literature" is used to describe anything from creative writing to more technical or scientific works, but the term is most commonly used to refer to works of the creative imagination:






A made up story

Can tell about things that could happen

Is read for fun

Characters may be like real people or imaginary


Has facts that can be checked and proven

The author is an expert on this information

Is read to gain information on a subject

It is TRUE


How to choose books to read?
by Pixabay

Types of Books 

Mass-market paperbacks - most sold, but not most profitable segment (low margins of profit)

Religious books - most popular book of all-time?

Reference Books

University Press Books 

Reference Books

University Press Books

Access to a wide variety of books encourages exposure to

  • new and challenging information
  • varied subjects
  • areas of interest
  • difficult vocabulary and concepts
  • ideas and issues appropriate to their own rate of learning


Finding information on the page.
Being able to find information that is not on the page. Looking for clues
Thinking about situations and predicting what might happen.
Putting yourself in a character’s shoes and understanding what is going on from their viewpoint.

Consider a variety of materials

  • Graphic novels
  • Readalong books
  • Audio books
  • Magazines and newspapers

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For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. Jonh 3:16