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How to Find Time to Read?_

If you are an average reader, you can read an average book at the rate of three hundred words a minute. You cannot maintain that average, however, unless you read regularly every day. Nor can you attain that speed with hard books in science: mathematics, agriculture, business, or any other subject that is new or unfamiliar to you. The chances are that you will never attempt that speed with poetry or want to race through some passages in fiction over which you wish to linger. But for most novels, biographies, and books about travel, hobbies of personal interests, if you are an average reader, you should have no trouble at all absorbing meaning and pleasure out of three hundred printed words every sixty seconds.

Statistics are not always practicable, but consider these: If the average reader can read 300 words a minute of average reading, then in 15 minutes he can read 4,500 words. Multiplied by 7 (the days of a week), the product is 31,500. Another multiplication by 4 (the weeks in a month) makes 126,000. And final multiplication by 12 (the months in a year) results in grand total of 1,512,000 words. That is the total number of words of average reading an average reader can do in just 15 minutes a day of one year.

Books vary in length from 60,000 to 100,000 words. The average is about 75,000 words. In one year of average reading by an average reader for 15 minutes a day, 20 books will be read. That is a lot of books. It is 4 times the number of books that are read by public-library borrowers in America. And yet it is easily possible.

(From the Wonderful World Of Books published by Houghton Mifflin Co., Copyright, 1952, by Alfred Stefferud, editor.)

One of the best ways to determine how well you understand what a writer says is by paraphrasing.

What to Remember About Paraphrasing?

  1. The purpose off a paraphrase is to express clearly, in definite, easy-to-understand language, exactly what an author is saying.
  2. A paraphrase is not a shortened form; it paralleles the section, that it interprets. It may be longer than the section itself.
  3. A good paraphrase must fit these requirements: a) It must be definite; b) It must be worded in clear, simple language; c) It must not repeat the author's wording; d) It must contain all the main ideas of the original; e) It must not add any new ideas.

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