How to read a book you
DON'T want to read
• A Jim Trelease video •

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hile watching a team of tree surgeons cut down an 80-foot diseased pine tree nestled between his property and neighbors' property, Jim Trelease thought of how much the process reminded him of having to read a book you don't want to read. Sometimes the mere "required" label on the book makes it difficult to swallow—yet swallow we must.

The end result of that thinking was a nine-minute video Trelease posted to various video web sites. The target audience is reluctant-reader preteens and teens but the contents apply equally well to reluctant-reader adults.

The basic premise is that you take the book "down" the same way they took the tree down. The tree was too large to cut down all at once (ouch—there goes the fence, the tool shed, and the neighbor's garage) so they took it piece-by-piece. So, too, with a 200-page book that's too large to leave until the night before the exam or the report is due. Chop the book into smaller pieces.

Along the way, Trelease also shares insights into reading positions (elevate the feet to the level of the heart and you're pumping less oxygen to the brain and pretty soon you're d-r-o-w-s-y . . . Also, check the brightness of that light bulb. There's one setting that will tire your eye muscles before all others. If the trees guys wouldn't think of arriving without their saw, don't forget that pen or pencil if you're reading. A simple notation in the margin engages a separate section of the brain and increases memory and comprehension. (Keeps you awake too.)

And watch out for those distractions! Trelease points out that the guy cutting down the tree isn't on the cellphone or instant-messaging his wife and kids. Distractions can do you in whether you're cutting branches or reading pages. Put them on hold until you've finished the job.


View the video here on the left.


If you wish to embed the video in your school or library web site, use either of the codings listed below the video screen here. If you have an education Web site of any kind, feel free to embed it.



VIDEO EMBEDDING CODE FOR YOUR WEB PAGE (use one or the other below)
<object width="400" height="300"><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" />
<param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><param name="movie" value=";;show_title=1&amp;show_byline=
1&amp;show_portrait=0&amp;color=&amp;fullscreen=1" /><embed src=";;show_title=1&amp;show_byline=
1&amp;show_portrait=0&amp;color=&amp;fullscreen=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen=
"true" allowscriptaccess="always" width="400" height="300"></embed></object><br />
<a href="">How to read a book you don't want to read</a> from
<a href="">Jim Trelease</a> on <a href="">Vimeo</a>.
<object width="425" height="350"> <param name="movie" value=""> </param> <embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="425" height="350"> </embed> </object>



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