My friend Soon Young asked me to read a book with her over Skype, which is necessary because even though we both live in South Korea, she lives in the south and I live in the north. She wants to practice her English and work on her reading comprehension. I agreed and asked her what book she wanted to read. She surprised me by bringing out a copy of Jane Eyre, this book, which I love, was written in 1847. So a lot of the word choice and style of writing is not used anymore. Many sentences have digressions where you have to keep the first part of the sentence in mind until the very end, so you know what is being said.
We started reading it together, I have a copy on my Kindle, and stopped every 3 paragraphs or so to make sure Soon Young understood the meaning. We didn’t get very far, but it was enjoyable. I told her that there are many movies and suggested she wait until we finish the book to watch them, but now I’m wondering if watching one of the movies would help her understand better. English is her second language, although she is doing quite well with it, this is a difficult book for a native English speaker to understand.
I did suggest that she check out of the study guides that are available for Jane Eyre, and she suggested reading ahead and writing down questions or vocabulary words in preparation.
I love reading aloud with people, and have done so with my parents and friends. When I was a kid my mom read to us every night. My father read less frequently, but we often had a book that he would read to the family on the weekends. I have listened to the Chronicles of Narnia, J.R.R. Tolkien, and hosts of others. When I lived in Colorado with my friend Kateen and her family, I was the reader. We read Mary Stewart’s Touch Not the Cat, Sense and Sensibility, The Princess Bride, and others.