Updated: Apr 17, 2019
by Felice Arena -
Bestselling children's author. Specky Magee. A Great Escape . Fearless Frederic. The Boy and the Spy.
Ten fun tips for reading and book-related activities for the holidays.
1. Read aloud and proud. Entertain your younger brothers or sisters by reading aloud to them. If you don’t have siblings, read to your pet. Like the rest of us, cats, dogs and quite a few goldfish love a good story!
2. Books are better with cake. Arrange a visit to your local library – join the library if you haven’t already! – and tag on a trip to a nearby cake store. Revel in the moment when you read the first couple of pages of the book you’ve just borrowed while enjoying a sixteen layered chocolate tart, or a cream éclair, at the same time. Be careful not to get any icing on the pages!
3. Books to movies. Many blockbuster movies are screen adaptations of books. So why not try reading the book first before seeing the movie. Or vice versa. Try to spot what scenes from the book the producers left out or the new scenes they added to the story.
4. Bookend your day with reading. We are constantly distracted by looking at our devices, so why not try this: Each day during the holidays, immediately after you wake up, and before picking up any device, pick up a book instead. Spend the first 15 minutes of your day reading before doing anything else. (I know that’s asking a lot.) Repeat this at the end of the day when you go to bed – 15 minutes of reading before you switch off your bedside light. It’s doesn’t sound like a lot of reading time but if you add it all up, by the end of the holidays you will have read for 420 minutes. That’s 7 hours – without really trying!
5. Write to the author. Authors love to hear from their readers. I know I do. If you have a question or just want to say how much you love the author’s story, visit their website or try to find them on social media, and send them a message. (By the way, my website is felicearena.com and my Instagram account is Instagram.com/fleech)
6. Build the perfect reading cubby house or nook. Cubby houses (the lounge-room kind) are easy to make. You know the ones, couch pillows, blankets used for walls and roofs, pillows for the interior, etc. Create the perfect cubby and fill it with your favourite books – this will make your reading experience more intimate, a perfect escape from everyone. And if you think you’ve outgrown building lounge-room cubby houses, how about setting up a tent or tepee in the backyard instead? These cosy nooks make the best reading spaces for getting lost in a great book.
7. Record your reading. This is sort of an extension to Tip #2. Why not record yourself reading from your favourite book and send the recording to your grandparents, or to a relative who may not live close by? They’re some great voice recording apps out there that allow you to compress the audio file and share it via email or messaging.
8. Share the book love. If there’s a book you absolutely love, then the next time you’re invited to a friend’s birthday party, why not buy another copy for them?
9. TV Commercial Mute Reading. While watching TV, mute the volume every time there’s a commercial, and see how much you can read during the ads. You’ll be amazed how much you’ll get through during an episode of your favourite show!
10. Chart your books! Remember old growth charts, where parents would mark your height every year (usually pencil marks up the door frame)? Why not make a book chart tower. All you need is a long strip of butcher’s paper, and some Blu Tack to stick it your bedroom wall. Once you’ve read a book, trace it on your paper tower, starting from the bottom of course. Write in the title and the date you finished reading it. The next book you read you trace above the first book, and so on….