Thursday, August 18, 2011

This One's For You, Procrastinators!

If you are reading this blog on August 18 and you have not started your summer reading yet, then you might be a procrastinator! (A procrastinator is someone who puts off doing something.) Here is some advice for you!

I think we have all procrastinated at some point in our lives. Yes, even your teachers are probably guilty of waiting until the last minute to do something important. Why do we procrastinate? I guess we all have our own reasons, but I know that I sometimes procrastinate for the following reasons:
  1. I don't think I will be good at the task that I am supposed to be doing, so I would rather avoid it and hope it disappears!
  2. I don't think I will enjoy the task very much.
Do any of these reasons sound familiar? Yes? No? Maybe? Do you need to think about it for 20 minutes? Don't! That's procrastinating!

It doesn't really matter why you have waited until the last minute to start reading. What you need to do now is develop a plan of action!

  1. Step One: Choose a book! This sounds simple, but it is not. Believe me, I make a living out of matching people to books, and it's not always pretty. Look at the books that I have recommended. Does anything interest you? Still haven't found a book that you like? Ask a good friend or a librarian for a suggestion. Then beg your parents to take you to the bookstore or public library as soon as possible.
  2. Read the first 50 pages. Yes, I said 50 pages. (Some experts actually recommend reading the first 100 pages, but we have limited time here...) You should take no more than 2 or 3 days to read the first 50 pages. You can't read the first 10 pages and complain, "Nothing is happening. I'm bored." Listen, nothing happens in the first 10 pages of most books. The author has to introduce you to the characters and the setting and the problem in the story. (Remember learning about the exposition last year? Yep, that's what I'm talking about here.)
  3. If you don't like the first 50 pages, choose another book! You read that correctly. I am a media specialist telling you not to finish a book. Sounds crazy, right? The truth is that there are plenty of great books out there, but it might take a while to find the type of books that are right for you. Since you don't have a lot of time left, you will need to commit to a book eventually, but reading is always easier and more enjoyable when you have chosen the right book.
  4. Gain some momentum with your book. Would you ever take 20 days to watch a 2 hour movie? (Well, if you have a toddler at home....) I'm guessing that you wouldn't do that. I'm not suggesting that you read the entire book in one day, although that can be great fun.! What I'm suggesting is that you read a few chapters per day every day IN A ROW until you finish. It really makes reading easier. You won't forget what you are reading about, and you will be drawn into the story.
These are my tips for all of you procrastinators. I have to go now, because I have some important tasks of my own that I am avoiding!

-Mrs. Kleinknecht

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