This is just a “little” post on one of my biggest passions; reading. My teacher gave an assignment to write at least 3-4 pages on a topic we feel strongly about. Of course, I chose reading. I wrote maybe a “couple” pages more than asked. Okay, maybe not a couple. Hope you enjoy!



By Sally Sheehan


         Reading is one of the best things in my life. I can journey all around the world and go to magical places, all while snuggled up in a cozy blanket! Over the years, I have learned many tips and tricks on reading. Whether you don’t like reading or you love it, you will enjoy this book! Hope to see you at the next section!

Diagram of a book

Diagram of a book (source: Flickr user: dimarco123-LIBR284)

Where to Start:

         It doesn’t matter whether you’re starting to like reading when you’re seven, or 49, you must start out at the same place. And that is to start with an easy, yet good book. This is because if you start with a hard book, you might give up on reading forever. Hard books can be amazing, but difficult to understand. And if you do not understand the book, you will not enjoy it. This is why you have to start with a good, but fantastic book or book series. For example, the Percy Jackson or Maze Runner series are easy for me. That way, once you get to the hard books, you can really appreciate the writing. Remember to always take recommendations!


Places to get Books:

Barnes and Noble

A picture of the fantastic Barnes & Noble (source:

There are many places you can shop for books. For instance, (and most common), Barnes & Noble. This store is my second home! I like it because I always find the book I’m looking for. I like to browse too. I don’t like it because sometimes it is too big. What I mean by this is, it can overwhelm some people with too many books (which can make it hard to find the book you’re looking for).

Another great place to get some awesome books is the Library. I like the Library because you get to read and enjoy the book for no money (unless you turn the book in late). Also, once you’re done with the book, you don’t have to keep it. I do not like the Library because there is a due date to the book, so I feel rushed to read it. And you’ll learn later why you have to pace yourself.

Why not go the old fashion way and borrow a book from a friend? This is a fun way because like the Library, you get to read for free! And unlike the Library, you would not be rushed to finish. I don’t really like doing this because I do not want to ruin it because they’d get mad. Unlike my book where I could do whatever I want with it (even read in the shower)!

An efficient and easy place to get books is a local bookstore. This is a fantastic place to get a magical adventure because you can just walk to a small and cozy shop. One thing I don’t like about it is they usually don’t have the book you’re looking for because it is most likely very small.

Online (for example, Amazon, E-bay,etc) is another great place to get some of your favorite stories! This is a good way because most of the time, you can get the book for a lower price. I do not like to do this because you have to WAIT for your book. So let’s say you’re book ends at a cliffhanger. You have to wait a week (with no rush delivery) to know what happens.

While you are in school, you most likely have some books in your classroom. I enjoy doing this because you can just grab a book and chances are someone would have liked it for it to be there. I also do not like it because I feel I have to be very careful with it. I also do not like this way because for the same reason of the small store, it might not have the book. Now hurry along and go get some books!


         Before you decide which book you want to read, I think it’s helpful to find which genre in particular you enjoy the most. A genre is a certain kind of book you like. For example, mystery, fantasy, humor, etc. In my opinion, I like to read fantasy! But it depends for each person. An easy way to find which genre you like is to try each one out and choose the genre that suits you the best.


A Unicorn is an example of a creature from fantasy. (Source:

         There are many kinds of genres. If you are a fan of real life stories, you might enjoy side A, non-fiction. With non-fiction the categories could go on a long time. This might include historical fiction, information texts, debates, biographies, autobiographies, and many more. If you think you might enjoy side B, fiction, you may like some of these genres too. These genres are fantasy (dystopian), mystery, humor, horror, realistic fiction, and maybe historical fiction. Though most common is you like both sides. And that’s okay too. I like to split readers into two groups because I personally find it easier to find a genre you like if you choose a side. And when you know what genre you like, you can find a book that you would like the most.

Good Books to Read:

         There are many, many good books to read. In this chapter I will be talking about mostly fantasy books, so if you want a good non-fiction book, I recommend to ask a friend.

         I have multiple favorite books and series. Some of these series include The Mortal Instruments, The Infernal Devices, The Selection Series, Harry Potter, Percy Jackson and the Divergent Series. I like these series because they apply to most ages. I feel the same way with my favorite books. Although I like to read series more, I also enjoy reading single story in books. Some of my favorite books are The Giver, The Fault In Our Stars, Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door and Ungifted. I hope you decide to decide to pick up on some of these wonderful books.

Here's a cutaway of some of my favorite books.

Here’s a cutaway of some of my favorite books.

Favorite Authors:

         Most of my favorite books are from my favorite authors. If you enjoy fantasy kinds of books, then you would like these authors. One of these spectacular people is Rick Riordan, author of Percy Jackson. His story was originally a bedtime story for his dyslexic, ADHD child. He made this story of a hero who had his disabilities, to show his child that his ADHD and dyslexia wouldn’t stop him from doing great things. He has inspired many people today. Rick Riordan is amazing!


J. K. Rowling~ (resource:

         Another marvelous writer is J.K. Rowling, author of Harry Potter. Harry Potter is a starter for many readers, for it sparks that little flame of loving a book. Many people call her “The Queen” because they feel she is the queen of writing. They also call her this because she is very thoughtful. I know this because she used to be a billionaire, but she donated so much money to charity that she lost that title.

The Queen’s real name is Joanne Rowling, but her publisher decided that J.K. Rowling would be a better name for her books because books by men tended to sell longer. She is the reason Borders (a publishing company) stayed in business for a few more years, while twelve other companies turned Harry Potter down. Crazy, right? Thank you J.K. Rowling for being so great!

         I have many other favorite authors too. I absolutely LOVE Cassandra Clare, she is most preferred author. John Green, famous for being the writer of The Fault in Our Stars and being a member of the YouTube famous Vlogbrothers is fantastic too. His writing is so deep and clear, I really enjoy reading it. Kiera Cass is another author who’s books I absolutely ADORE. Along with Veronica Ross (writer of the Divergent Series) and Suzanne Collins, author of the legendary Hunger Games. Author’s can be stupendous.

How-To Find the Right Book:

         If none of these books or authors strike your interest, don’t sweat it! You can still find the right book. There are certain steps to finding the right book.

1.   Find what style of books you enjoy. That way you can eliminate books that are not for you.

2.   Once you’ve found your style, then go ahead and ask a friend for recommendations on that genre. This way, you are most likely to find a book that you like if your friend has liked it.

3.   If you enjoy the book you read, then go on the internet or look in the book for books that are like/related to it. You might enjoy one of the recommended books because you liked the other book. Or, if you did/do not like the book, go to the bookstore and find where your style of books. Then, read the blurb (The introduction, usually on the back on the book or in the front side flap) to see if it might interest you.

4.   If all else fails, go out on a limb and just read a random book. Who knows? You might like it!

         Books can change someone’s life. You just have to find the right book.

How-to Read Comfortably:

         So you have your fantastic book and you’re all excited to start reading it. But you have a question that’s bothering you. How do I read comfortably? You try to read lying down; no success. You try sitting and reading; it fails. You try every single combination you think is possible and still no luck. You think to yourself, ‘Is it even possible to read comfortably?. Don’t worry! There are simple easy ways to read without getting frustrated.

         One of these ways is what I normally do, it’s meant for when you are lying down. I call it “The Lazy L”. It’s very easy and I think is the best one.

Step 1) Decide which page you are reading; the left side or the right side. This is important because for the next step it decides which side you would lay down on.

Step 2) Lay down on the side which is most comfortable for you. You want to do this because it prepares you for the next steps.

Step 3) If you are reading the right page and lying on your left side, you want to put the left pages on the bed or floor, and the right pages are being held by your right hand. 

Here's what it looks like:

Here’s what it looks like.

I know it sounds confusing, but once you actually do it, it’s easy!

If you are reading the LEFT page and on your left side, you want to hold the pages open with BOTH hands. And the same thing is with the other side, just different hands.

Step 4) Enjoy your book. I hope you use this method!

         Another really simple way is what I call “The Pretend Cry”. This one is when you are at school or sitting at your desk/table. It’s the most simple way that many people in my class like to use.

1.   Put your book open to the page you’re reading on your lap.

2.   Put your left or right arm on the table/desk.

3.   Gently put your forehead on your cushion (A.K.A., your arm.)

4.   Hold the book open with your free hand and read.

         These are the methods I really enjoy doing. They’re simple, efficient, and very effective! Reading is 10x more amazing when you are comfortable. If these do not work for you, make sure to experiment. Which one do you like the most?

E-books VS Real Books!:



Real Books

Carry 1000 books without killing your back!


Only as many books as you can carry.You have to tolerate the pain.

Can run out of battery!


Read without the risk of your book dying.

Read in the dark!


Have to use a book light, which is a drag.

Water is like poison to the Ebook! Your
expensive book is ruined!


Water is fine near a book, the pages can always dry!

Easier to read comfortably!


Can be hard… unless you read the last chapter!

It doesn’t feel as good to touch a screen!


The feeling of holding a real book is phenomenal!

         I think that both the Ebook (IPad, Kindle, E-reader, etc) and the real book are both amazing. The Ebook and the real book both have flaws, but both are beautiful. It doesn’t matter whether it is from technology or many pieces of paper, it is still a book. And that’s all that matters, really. If it’s a good book, it definitely does not matter. Some people like the Ebook better, and some people (like me) enjoy reading more from a real book. But who cares? A book is a book, isn’t it?

Pacing Yourself: 


Don’t read to fast, reader! (resources:

         I know it may be hard, but when you’re reading, you have to pace yourself. To pace yourself is to go at a steady, easy-for-you rate of (in this case) reading. For example, not rushing through a book. It can be very hard! You want to know what happens so bad, you just race through the book. And suddenly… it’s over. And you think to yourself, ‘Why did it go so fast?. That is because you raced.

         Racing through a book can be bad. You don’t really appreciate the book as much. You don’t think about the story. You just eat the words whole. Reading a book fast is like eating your food fast. You just gobble everything… you don’t let your mind or stomach catch up to what you just read or ate… and you get a stomach ache and the ache of being done with a good book. Have you ever heard the saying, ‘pace yourself when you eat’? It goes the same way for reading.

         Want to know how to pace yourself? It’s very simple. All you have to do is SLOW DOWN! If you are reading and you’re at a very interesting part… my advice is to put the book down. I know, I know, it may be EXTREMELY hard, but there are two reasons you would want to do this. One, so the next time you read that book, you will begin with the kick start of an interesting scene. And two, chances are, if it’s interesting, you’re going to finish the book in one sitting. (Which is definitely not pacing yourself). Now remember, go at nice pace while you read!

Book to Movie Adaptations:




The Hunger Games

City Of Bones

Percy Jackson

Harry Potter

The Giver


Fault In Our Stars


Because of Winn Dixie

The Maze Runner

         This table is just some examples of book/movies that I think are true. Your ideas may be different. Many, many movies are made from or are motivated by books. I bet you didn’t know that the legendary “Frozen” was inspired by a fairy tale called, The Snow Queen, by Hans Christian Anderson. Insane, I know.

Book to movie adaptations can terrible.The ones that are bad seldom truly capture the whole meaning of the book. And they think that if they change what happens in the story, they could somehow “make it better”. SOMETIMES they change something and it is better than what happened in the book but… let’s be realistic. That usually doesn’t happen.

And there are those other times when the movie is perfect; they couldn’t make it any better. For example, The Hunger Games. They did perfect casting, perfect ways of representing a scene (even ways I didn’t even think would be possible to pull off), perfect ways of showing the characters’ personalities, and most importantly, they follow the book. I love it when the director does this! All in all, there are good and bad book to film adaptations.


         Before you read this essay, your knowledge on books was probably low. Now, you know where to start, places you buy novels, and Genres. You have learned about fantastic books and authors, how-to get a book for you, how-to find your comfortable reading position, Ebooks compared to real books, why you need to pace yourself and books that have been turned into movies. Wow! You are an expert on reading now! Spread the info you learned to your friends and pick up a book!


2 thoughts on “Reading

  1. Pingback: “Reading” - What You Need to Know about Reading by my 11-Year-Old - HighTechDad

  2. Great essay ! Now that the author has – at age 11 – already entertained us with her introduction to reading, perhaps she can continue, and by her 12th birthday, present us with her own first book. I’d suggest a novel, but perhaps she’d prefer to continue in non-fiction.
    One small caveat:
    In contrasting the pros and cons of electronic versus “real” books, the author may underestimate the dangers of spilling her drink on the former. It not only ruins the ebook, it may (very expensively!) ruin the device on which she is reading it (Kindle, iPad, etc). Fortunately: her Hi-Tech Dad has a helpful podcast on how to fix the MacBook Pro; perhaps he can update it for similar mishaps on other devices.

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