What Can I Read In My Own Time?


Reading is one of the best ways you can improve your English. Many students have found that it has been very helpful for them, and in this article, it is claimed that reading novels can even make you a better person!

To begin your reading habit, remember to…
… read as much as you can.
… read a variety of different texts (books, newspaper articles, blogs) on different subjects.
… only read things that are interesting to you. If you’re not enjoying it, stop and read something else.
… read because you want to and because you enjoy it. That should be your only objective, and it should be enough.
… read things that you understand. If it’s too difficult, stop and read something else. Try not to use a dictionary too much.
… read when you have some time to yourself, even if it’s only for five minutes.
… talk to me and the other students in your class about what you read. Keep us updated on what you are reading. Make recommendations about books and websites that you enjoy.

What Can I Read?

Here are some recommendations from teachers around the world. This list is a work in progress, so if you have something you’d like to recommend to other students, let me know and I’ll add it to the list.

News and articles


Books and short stories (online)



A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
Animal Farm by George Orwell
Boy by Roald Dahl
Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut
Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding
Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood
Fifth Business by Robertson Davies
Going Solo by Roald Dahl
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Mysteries by Agatha Christie
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C Clarke
Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Short Cuts by Raymond Carver
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
The Concise Chinese Dictionary For Lovers by Xiaolu Guo
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway.
The Pearl by John Steinbeck
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Train Dreams by Denis Johnson

Audio books

You can also try listening to books. There are many places you can find audio books online, especially on YouTube. Try Bookster Audio to start.

For more suggestions for books and websites to read, click here.

Student tips based on: http://extensivereading.net/docs/ERChar.html
Photo taken from http://flickr.com/eltpics by Lulu Polar, used under a CC Attribution Non-Commercial license, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

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