celebrate books, celebrate reading

The annual book fair is once again in Valencia.  Now in its 43rd year, the fair takes over much of the Gran Via Marqués del Turia.

I walk past the fair almost every day and it’s great to see lots of people browsing the large range of books on offer.  I saw some very old books look alongside newer versions of many classic novels.  Everyone is catered for – adults, children and teenagers alike.  There are novels, textbooks, comic books, and manuals for anything from cookery to car maintenance.  Anyone interested in reading will surely find something among the many stalls.

If you are in Valencia, make sure you visit!

We take for granted reading in our own language.  When you think about the number and variety of things we read in our daily lives, it is quite remarkable:

newspapers, websites, timetables, receipts, leaflets, manuals, emails, novels, textbooks, washing instructions, ingredients lists, advertisements, billboards, TV guides, cinema listings, reports at work, agendas for meetings, job adverts, menus, catalogues … and so many more

And we usually read all of these without really noticing what we’re doing.  We do it every day, in many different places, and in many different contexts. 

Yet, when it comes to reading in another language, we seem to forget that we are capable readers.  We approach reading differently: all texts are treated equally.  And we often use a single technique – start at the first word and read everything from there!  No wonder we do not make much progress.

Yet reading is such an important part of learning a language.  We need to learn how we can use our existing reading skills when we read in another language. 

So, throughout March, and in celebration of the book fair, we will be publishing a range of posts all connected to reading.  There will be advice, tips, interesting facts, and perhaps even some recommendations.

Check back regularly for updates.