Today I'm going to talk a little bit about how to choose a book in English. I get this type of question very often and it's actually a very interesting question because it's not that easy to choose a book when you are choosing a book in English.
So, I have six tips for you today to help you make that choice.
1. Elige un libro que te guste
So, the first tip is that really you should choose a book that you like, a book that you have some interest in. That is vital because if the book that you choose is not of interest to you, then your motivation will disappear very, very quickly.
You might have the motivation at the beginning, but as soon as you start to read it, you will notice that you don't have enough motivation to continue. And that is one of the key problems and probably a problem that you have encountered in the past as well.
You might read halfway through the book, but then you kind of get bored and you don't really like it. So, the first thing is you need to choose a book that you like. And that process is very similar to choosing a book that you would choose in Spanish.
So, there's really no difference. So make sure you choose a book that you are interested in and that you are motivated to read.
2. Lea el texto en la contraportada
The second tip is that you should really read the back of the book. It's very important that you read the back of the book. There are a few reasons for this, but the main one is to check vocabulary.
So, if you are looking at the back of the book and you read through a few paragraphs, you get an idea about whether you're really interested in the subject, but also you get an idea about whether the vocabulary is going to be okay.
It might be that the vocabulary is too easy and you understand everything. So that's not ideal. It might also be that the vocabulary is too hard and you don't understand many words. And that's also not ideal. So, you should read it and make sure that you understand most of the words. There might be a few words you don't understand and that's fine too.
3. Lee las primeras páginas del libro
The third tip is that once you've read the back of the book, you can actually, in many online stores such as Amazon for example, you can actually read the first few pages and I would do that too.
Again, this is really to check whether the vocabulary is okay for you, but also to check whether the subject matter is interesting. It has to be a combination of both: that you're interested in the subject and also that it's the right level for you. That is vital.
4. Elige un formato de libro electrónico
Tip number four is related to the idea of the format of the book. Now, a lot of you might like physical books and that's understandable. I like physical books as well.
But in, in this particular case, there might be an advantage of actually getting an ebook. Now, the reason to do that is because in many cases, if you don't know a word, you can actually create a system where you click on the word and it will give you the Spanish translation immediately.
Which is fantastic. That is really amazing.
It can help you move forward in the book. It can help you keep motivated and it's a real bonus. So, if you do go for an E-formatted book (an e-book) then there are some definite, definite advantages there.
5. Comprar dos libros de bolsillo
If you really want to have a physical book, then, in fact, what you can do is buy two versions of the same book!
This is a tip that many teachers use, which is basically that you buy one book in English and the other book in Spanish, but it's exactly the same book and you read the book in English and then whenever you have any issues or misunderstandings or you're not quite sure what's going on, you can quickly look at the Spanish book.
And that is quite a powerful method.
I actually prefer the e-book method because it just works a little bit better but if you really, really like physical books then you can get two versions of the same book. That is a really great way of understanding something very quickly, if you're kind of a bit lost.
6. No uses un diccionario
The sixth tip is, obviously, not to use a dictionary! That is vitally important. The reason why you don't want to use a dictionary is because if you use a dictionary, then you will be stopping and starting all the time!
You'll be looking up lots of words. You won't get into a momentum!
And, what you really need to do here is just continue. Even if you're not quite sure about a particular word, then that's okay. Just try to guess from the context. If the word comes up again and again, then obviously you'll have to find out what that word means either by looking in a dictionary if necessary.
But if you've got an ebook then you can use that. Use the system in the ebook to find out what that word means in Spanish. So, there are quick ways to find out the meaning of words. But as I say, I would absolutely avoid looking at the dictionary because it's just something that will slow you down and will reduce your motivation to move forward. So, just try to push forward, and as long as you understand the meaning, then you're okay.
So those are my six tips. I hope they help. And obviously if you have any questions, just let me know. Alright. Thanks a lot. See you then. Bye.
Soy el director de Daniel Smith + Partners. Tengo más de 15 años de experiencia enseñando inglés a españoles.