Reading works of literature might not have immediate and obvious results. Apart from showing how much one has read, there is little to show. Reading is, however, highly rewarding since books immerse us into the world of the imagination and make us richer in many ways. From stories we learn about other people, their experiences with the world and their struggles. It is only human to read, since sharing a story is a tradition as old as humanity and has not vanished with the advancement of technology. Reading incorporates us into the society of the literate and privileged who, by means of reading, learn to distinguish between the good and the bad, the important und unimportant, the real and the unreal. These are the qualities that a modern person must possess to be able to survive in the current flood of information.
Why read in English?
For a foreigner, reading in English is much more obviously beneficial than plain reading. It is, admittedly and first of all, much more strenuous. One has to know English well enough to start reading literature in English and that means a lot of hard work. But isn’t the fruit that grows in your garden much sweeter than the one you buy in the store? The case is similar with the first story or novel you read in English. It is this activity that gives you, the reader, confidence in your level of English. This is the very place for expanding your vocabulary, getting the feel for English syntax and mastering your way of expressing things in English.
What literary works should I read?
There’s no need to rush, no need to be in a hurry to choose. When choosing what to read a first step, of course, is to go to the library and face the selection. Always make sure you choose a book that is of interest to you (and is not linguistically too demanding). And remember: in time no book is too hard to read if only your interest level is up to it.