BY SYAFIQAH IDAYU BINTI ROSLI
Do you see those desolate looking sheets of bound paper lying in the corner of your bedside table?
We remember those times in class, when we had to endure that dreadful teacher rambling endlessly about something you had long lost interest in?
So here’s the deal. We will provide you the easiest ways to ‘read’ your book and know it. After all, understanding a book is NOT the same as reading the synopsis at the back of the book!
But before we go on, let’s take a look at a book called: The Inheritance Cycle: Eragon as an example.
1. Chapter 1 to…the end
Sometimes, we have no choice but to do what we don’t want to do.
Face it, to know a book, you have to do some reading. In the first step, we recommend you read…the first and last chapter. Only.
Yes, you heard us right. The first chapter helps to introduce and give you a setting of the story. The last chapter serves as a closure to that world you had opened but not entered.
This way, you may have a brief idea as to the feel of the story. How does the author present the characters? What is it about the character that captured your attention? What happened in the end?
Well, now you vaguely know.
The next thing you should do is go to Wikipedia, type out the name of that adorable book and click ‘Enter’.
Yes, we heard and we know. Wikipedia is not reliable.
But come on, the collaborative-based free encyclopedia covers almost everything! (Anyone who doesn’t agree has some serious reflection to do. You know who you are.) The site practically screams: We have all you need here! Come look at us!
From the background of the publication to the author’s personal life, you name it and Wikipedia has it. Now, not that we are trying to sing praises for this site, but Wikipedia offers you your key to freedom: the ‘Plot Summary‘.
Eragon, a young adult fantasy-novel, typically has 300 – 500 pages. In Wikipedia, the whole story (from Book 1 to Book 4) has been reduced to a 7 paragraph summary. All hail collaborative authors!
However, do note the key word: summary.
Wikipedia provides you with only the general overview of the story.
3. Ask around!
There has to be someone who read it.
Ask around, go to your friends, preferably an avid reader. Most of all, talk to them. And yes, do talk about the book. Using what you know from Wikipedia, try to have a conversation that goes something along these lines…:
“Hey Tanya! Going for lunch?”
“So have you read that book Mr Wee assigned us? What did you think of that scene when he found out Morzan was his father?”
Tanya: Oh THAT. Sweet goodness. I never suspected—
Well, you know what comes next.
Garner what info you can from the ‘discussion’ and don’t forget to give your own input. You’d be surprised by the insights you may gain from such passionate readers. 🙂
4. Discussion Forums
Another useful platform for information on that pesky (adorable, we mean) book.
Similar to asking your friends, a discussion forum provides an author’s opinion on the story. This delves deeper into the character development, the flow of progressive story events, and even the language as used by the book’s author.
If you find the right place, the information gleaned will be so extensive, that this story may come alive even for you.
Here are some pretty good websites to look out for:
What book now has no movie adaptation?
Alright. A lot.
But you cannot deny there are a significant number of stories which have hit the big screens.
For some, there is joy. For others…sorrow.
If you don’t want to read the book, the movies are a wonderful source of information. All you have to do is sit and watch.
Be warned, however. Film adaptations always, always differ from the book. New characters may be introduced, characters on-screen may be different from the written character and even the setting may not the same.
That’s pretty much it.
We know it may seem more effort than is worth. But, if you really wish to avoid reading a 500-page novel, the abovementioned steps are the way to go.
Then again, you may just fall in love with the story somehow and reading suddenly becomes a breeze.
Goodness knows we love books. But as is our goal, we aim to please.
So keep smiling, our Squeeziys. No book shall be daunting anymore.