Reading in the Original - Books in English

How many times have we been told by foreigners that they would like to read Dostoevsky, Chekhov, and Tolstoy in Russian — hasn't it felt like a pride to hear? Similarly, English learners often want to enjoy Shakespeare's or Dickens' masterpieces in the original. Although you may have a plan to master a foreign language - a more down-to-earth and pragmatic goal - if you do not read fiction books you have no chances to advance your knowledge of the language.

Why reading books in English is good for everyone who wants to reach an advanced level of the language? Here is the top 3 reasons:

  1. Expanding thesaurus

    Inevitable upon exposure to fiction books. To ensure that the process is more effective adopt a more deliberate approach to this task by choosing the right books and writing down new words to learn.

  2. More grammar insights

    As part of a conscious-level automatic process, the images of words stick in your memory when you are reading. No secret that English spelling can be surprising and, in many cases, it is a good idea to recall rather than using logic or analogies.

  3. Extensive knowledge-making

    Even now, when the contemporaries have at hand multiple news web-sites, exuberant communications across various social networks.

    Further, when you start reading books in English you make yourself look better. Having discovered the motivation (as we can see the expected outcomes of our efforts are significant) we shall make a good selection of books.

  4. English Books to Read

    Most modern book stores offer books in English but generally, these are very hard to understand classics or best-selling books — stories or narratives for blockbusters and TV episodes.

    Well, this is not the best choice of books in English to read for a beginner, especially when it comes to children. The best place to begin is simple stories and then gradually shift to more complex pieces up to the scientific papers with a professional thesaurus (if applicable).

    So that the first attempt would not end up discouraging you from taking a book in a foreign language in your hand in the future, begin with adapted editions (generally, these are marked for language proficiency). For example, for elementary level, reading books with less than 1,100 keywords is generally advisable.

    The Best Way to Read Simple Adapted Stories

    To ensure that reading books written in a foreign language becomes much more than just a useful pastime but also brings some fun, follow these simple and worthwhile tips.

    Life-hacks for Beginners:

    • do not bother to understand every single word but rather use your imagination to recreate the meaning of an unknown word in the context (no mistake that a 5-6-year-old child when reading a fairy tale in their mother tongue, such as Pushkin's, regardless of the fact that she understands nearly a half of words can enjoy it anyway);
    • writhe down all unknown words to expand your thesaurus;
    • opt to read aloud to exercise spoken language and makes your pronunciation smooth and fluent.

    Read more frequently and at least half an hour a day. A good basis to improve your phonetics is taking every opportunity to listen to the audiobook.

    The experts believe that the right choice of books to read generally shall ensure that the reader understands approximately 70% of words (100% of known words doesn't give you the desired advantage).

    English books to read for an intermediate-level learner - Collection

    Established schools where the study is in English usually have proprietary libraries available to readers of any age to choose from a great range of books. For instance, in Russia, such type of educational organization is CIS International School that offers study programs with native English-speaking teachers (please call to learn more on offered kindergarten and school campus services in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and Tashkent).

    To help you plan your reading in the best way, please use the following list of recommended books.

    1. Charles Perrault, "The Beauty and the Beast", a fairytale that everyone in Russia knows from a very young age, and is very easy to grasp on the elementary level of language proficiency.
    2. Hans Christian Andersen, "The Snow Queen", the famous fairytale, the adaptation of which is good for lower grades and will be a useful means to exercise skills for grown-ups (published with a CD for audio playback).
    3. Eleanor Hodgman Porter, "Pollyanna", a touching story of an orphan which can steal the heart of both a young reader and a more mature reader.
    4. Mark Twain, "The Prince and the Pauper" with page-to-page comments, is a fun reading with a dynamic story and exuberant narration.
    5. Lewis Carroll, "Alice in Wonderland" (adapted edition), an iconic fairytale, all puns of which can be understood only when reading in the original; children's favourite, this book is full with delightful adventures of the protagonist, but an adult reader can enjoy the creativity of signature expressions.
    6. Elisabeth Gilbert, "Eat Pray Love" (it is a good idea to watch the eponymous film based on this story to support with the reading), a modern romantic drama that attracts with its facile style.
    7. Arthur Conan Doyle, "The Lost World" (adapted edition with parallel Russian translation), a prominent instance of adventure fiction that can significantly extend the reader's thesaurus.
    8. Arthur Conan Doyle, a collection of short stories "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes", the novel "The Adventure of the Dancing Men", bright short detective story (Pre-Intermediate).
    9. Agatha Christie, "Murder on the Orient Express", a brilliant instance of a detective story written by a prominent writer.
    10. Jerome Salinger, "The Catcher in the Rye", an iconic novel, for an adapted edition, can be read by both teens and adults (Pre-Intermediate).
    11. Helen Fielding, "Bridget Jones's Diary", a lively, entertaining novel (plus parallel translation).
    12. Nellie Harper Lee, "To Kill a Mockingbird", a beginner would enjoy a short-adapted edition of this American novel written almost a century ago and covering the social issues.
    13. Anne Rice, "Interview with the Vampire", a delightful, easy-style vampire novel (Pre-Intermediate).
    14. Bram Stocker, "Dracula", a thought-provoking story, and the best way to get familiar with it is to watch an eponymous film from a variety of film adaptations.

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