Friday, June 10, 2011

Good Readers and Good Writers


     Nabokov defines a good reader as "...the one who has imagination, memory, a dictionary, and some artistic sense..." (pg 615). He also states that "...the worst thing a reader can do, he identifies himself with a character in the book..." (pg 615-616). I would have to agree with Nabokov on both points. Unfortunately, the current day 'novels' that surface, have characters that make it extremely easy for young readers to identify with. Where is the imagination, when you can read a text and see yourself in these fictional characters?  In these cases, I find that there is very little imagination, hardly any memory required, and almost never require a dictionary. Do they require some artistic sense? In my personal opinion, I feel they do not. Of course, not all novels today fit this description. Young readers should be challenged throughout their reading, while at the same time, allowing themselves to fully enter the book, become one with the writings, and let their imagination run wild. 

     I feel that many things make up a good reader. I believe that you should understand what you are looking for out of a book. Knowing the style you enjoy reading makes it much easier to become engrossed in your read. I find it much easier to recall the words I have just read when I am captivated in the text. A challenging text may be more difficult to start, however, the end result may be much more satisfying. A good reader should not start beyond their reading level, and only challenge themselves mentally when ready to do so. Understanding your literary limits will go a long way when beginning a novel. An open mind is also a quality I feel a good reader should posses. "Don't judge a book by its cover" came about for a reason. A good reader should read a variety of subjects. There are so many different aspects to being a good reader, I find it hard to pick out only a few. The most important of all, make time to read. Allow yourself a place and time to remove all distractions, and share your mind with the words of the author. Distractions can ruin a novel, through no fault but your own.

Do I see myself as a good read? I have conflicting feelings on this question. I believe I have the potential to be a very good reader, when I take the time. I find myself easily distracted, which takes away from the book I am reading. When I take the time required to allow myself to become engrossed, I do not find it difficult at all. Reading is a bottled up passion, that I don't spend enough time experiencing. When I allow myself the time, I find I thoroughly enjoy the journey.

The picture I chose represents the beauty I see in books. I find nothing more enthralling than ancient books, that show obvious signs of many hours being read. 

For my link, I chose a website that has many classic quotes by Vladimir Nabokov. I wasn't sure what to link, but felt this was interesting. 

Works cited

Nabokov, Vladimir. "Good Readers and Good Writers." The Norton Reader An Anthology of Nonfiction. Ed. Linda H. Peterson, John C. Brereton. Shorter 11th ed. New York, London: W.W. Norton & Company. 


  1. Hi Katie. I’m so glad to see that someone else has never made a video on Youtube before this class! It worked and you managed to put it on your blog-something I haven’t mastered yet.
    Anyway, I thought you understood the article very well. You were able to clarify the four characteristics that Vladimir thought made up a good reader. In addition, you went one step further and pointed out the main reason why people become bad readers. Bravo.
    I agree with you when you told us that having an artistic sense does not make a good reader.
    I also liked your description about some of the novels that are out in the bookstores, grocery stores and drug stores today. They do lack the sophistication that a reader really needs in order to challenge their intellect.
    I also believe that if the subject matter of the book is interesting to a reader than he will want to read more and remember what he has read.
    Michael Crabb

  2. Hi. wow, you have a lot of good points on your feedback and i like what you have wrote. i never read and heard of Nabokov, but he inspired me to be a good reader and i hope to achieve in this.
    well first of all. i am not a great reader, but i love to read and yes every reader should start at their own levels while reading a book. this was they could understand the subject of the book and visualize the story with their imaginations.
    I also believe that every reader should have their own special and enjoyable subject in books to read, so they could see where the authors are coming from.

  3. Thank you very much for keep this information.