Well, folks, it’s August. Albeit only the second week of August. But still– the upcoming school year is approaching and most of us haven’t even touched our assigned summer reading. DUN, DUN, DUNNNN! I recently graduated from college, so I don’t have summer reading anymore. But, trust me, I had quite a few years of looming summer reading that I put off until far too close to the first day of school.
Yesterday a viewer commented on my most recent video asking for help on getting through a boring summer reading book. Have no fear, Abby Reads is here!
The school I went to later on in high school allowed us to select our own summer reading books from a list of options, but for most of my school years I had to read quite a few books that I truly found boring. I’m having flashbacks to A Bell for Adano in the ninth grade. Gah.
So in honor of the upcoming school year and to (hopefully) help y’all out, I’m going to be giving you 3 tips on how to get through summer reading.
1. Create a reading schedule.
This totally saved me when I pushed off summer reading until waaaaay too late. In order to make sure I got all of the reading I needed to done, I figured out how many chapters were in the book and how many days I had until I wanted to finish it. Then I divided the number of chapters by the number of days. For example– 30 chapters/3 days = 10 chapters per day. Instead of having an entire book looming over my head, I broke down the reading into more feasible chunks, which made the reading process less overwhelming and more do-able.
2. Understand that this book was assigned to you for a reason.
I didn’t like many of the books I was assigned for summer reading, but that doesn’t mean that they weren’t important for my learning journey. It may be easier said than done, but when a teacher or professor assigns a book, it means that the book has purpose and meaning in context of your class or school. For example, I wasn’t the hugest fan of Huckleberry Finn. That being said, it was easier to get through if I kept in mind all that I was learning about bildungsromans (AP Literature vocab word, whaddup!), literary structure, and historical influence of early literature on modern literature. So if you’re having trouble plowing through a boring book, take a moment and think: why have I been assigned this? How can this benefit me?
3. Use Sparknotes (NOT LIKE THAT)!
I know what you may be thinking– Sparknotes?! Yes, I’m recommending that you use Sparknotes. No, I’m not recommending that you use Sparknotes instead of reading the book you were assigned. Sparknotes are not going to truly help you understand the book in its entirety, and oftentimes teachers or professors have ways of figuring out if you actually read the book or not (my Abnormal Psychology professor asked us what kind of fish the main character caught in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest). Instead, use Sparknotes as a supplement! This was especially helpful to me with Shakespeare or other books that I had trouble following. After every chapter, I’d read the Sparknotes summary of the chapter to see what I had missed or to clarify main plot points I didn’t understand. Then I could take what I learned and either keep reading or go back and reread until I was able to fully grasp what was happening.
I hope these tips help you all finish up your summer reading (or help you finish any assigned reading during the school year)! Do you have any tips for finishing boring summer reading? Let me know down in the comments!