Some tips not to give up in the first…

We all need to read a lot to improve our English. By the way it’s also a nice adventure whenever we start reading a new book.

But many times, we gave up reading a book in the first pages even when:

1) We really liked the book,
2) We had enough time to read it
3)The level of the book matched our current reading level.

Then… where is the problem?
Why we often give up reading a book and left it unfinished in a cupboard?

Usually the problem is that when reading a new book, the most difficult part is in the first chapters…


Why Do You Give Up Reading A Book In The First Pages?

It’s very common between English learners to give up reading a book during its first pages because we are introduced to a lot of new information:

  • Many new characters.
  • Every character has his/her own characteristics.
  • There are a lot of relationships between the characters.
  • A plot is just starting to show and we know a very little part of it.
  • Sometimes it’s even our first contact with the writer style.

All these things can make a book seem too difficult for you to read at first glance.
Being patient during the first chapters is going to be the difference between enjoying and finishing the book or giving up and leaving the book unfinished.
Your success or your failure depends on how are you going to deal with the first pages of a new book


What Do You Have To Do?

Sometimes when I start reading a new book I usually read the first chapters twice or even a third time. When I feel that “I’m in the book” and I feel comfortable then I can go ahead with a good basis.

Don’t feel stupid at all for reading the first pages or even the first chapters more than once. It’s a wise way to ensure your progress. And you are going to be surprised of a lot of new things that you can catch when you read the same page for a second or a third time.

In books with a lot of characters, before starting the book or after the first chapters, I recommend to check in the Internet for some information:
-The names of the characters.
-Their main characteristics.
-The basic relationships between them.

Write down all this information because it’s going to be like a little summary that is going to help you to digest all the new information. It’s going to help you and you are not going to feel so lost at first.


Some Of The Summaries I Wrote When Reading A Book

Example 1:
When reading the book The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson I felt that there was too many characters and they all had names that were unfamiliar to me (in Swedish). Then I decided to check in the Internet for a little summary to help me during the first chapters of the book…

Mikael Blomkvist Journalist, publisher and part-owner of the monthly magazine Millennium
Lisbeth Salander Freelance surveillance agent and researcher, specialising in investigating people on behalf of Milton Security
Henrik Vanger Retired industrialist and former CEO of Vanger Corporation
Harriet Vanger Henrik’s grandniece
Martin Vanger Brother of Harriet and CEO of the Vanger Corporation
Gottfried Vanger Martin and Harriet’s deceased father
Isabella Vanger Gottfried Vanger’s wife and Martin and Harriet’s mother
Cecilia Vanger Daughter of Harald Vanger and one of Henrik’s nieces
Anita Vanger Cecilia’s sister and one of Harriet’s second cousins


*The source where I found this information when I read the book:

This simple summary helped me a lot to have a mental image of the characters, some of their basic characteristics and the main relationships between them. This summary was a pillar that supported my reading during the first chapters.

Example 2:
Here is another example when I read The Da Vinci Code By Dan Brown. It was one of the first “long” books that I read in English…

Bishop Manuel Aringarosa A  fictional Spanish bishop. He’s the worldwide head of Opus Dei and the patron of the albino monk Silas.
Sister Sandrine A nun who lives at Saint Sulpice
Lieutenant Jérôme Collet A  lieutenant in France’s Direction Central Police Judiciaire (DCPJ). He is Captain Bezu Fache’s second-in-command
Bezu Fache A  captain in the Direction Centrale de la Police Judiciaire (DCPJ), the French national criminal-investigation police bureau.
Professor Robert Langdon A  fictional Harvard University professor of religious iconology and Symbology
Rémy Legaludec The butler of Sir Leigh Teabing and lives in Château Villette
Jacques Saunière Saint-Clair The curator of the Louvre, head of the secret Priory of Sion and grandfather of Sophie Neveu
Sophie Neveu The  granddaughter of Louvre curator Jacques Saunière. She is a French National Police cryptographer, who studied at the Royal Holloway, University of London Information Security Group.
Silas An albino numerary of the Catholic organization Opus Dei, who practices severe corporal mortification
Sir Leigh Teabing A British Royal Historian, a Knight of the Realm, Grail scholar, and friend of Harvard professor Robert Langdon.
André Vernet President of the Paris branch of the Depository Bank of Zurich.


*The source where I found this information when I read the book: 

Spoilers…Very Important:
Be careful when looking for this kind of information because you can find spoilers.
Some people don’t care to read a book even when some part of the plot is reveled before reading the book. But some other readers are not going to read a book if they know beforehand a part of the plot because of a spoiler.


…And Remember

Some tips to don’t give up in the first pages when reading a book_
-Have you ever give up when starting to read a book?
-What do you think about these tips?
-Are you going to use this strategy?
-Share your own experiences with us?
…All your comments are very welcome!!!

Copyright © Learn English Like Me and, (2012-2016).
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author is strictly prohibited.
Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Learn English Like Me and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I’m learning English by myself. Like me, you can improve your English faster and easier than you think. Make the most of your effort, time and money. |
  • Laura

    Some tips not to give up…

    1. George

      Hi Laura,

      Thank you very much for make me aware of one grammar mistake I made. It’s now corrected.
      I wrote “Some tips to don’t give up“ instead of “Some tips not to give up”.
      I appreciate your comment very much!

      Take care!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *