I recently finished reading Jade by Taru Makinen. My godmother gave it to me for my return flight from Finland in 1997. I started it (again) when I was six months pregnant (apparently I'm still measuring time by the age of my daughter) so that means it took me a whopping eighteen months to finish, despite enjoying every page of teenage friendship, parent relations, dating, in a conflict involving no less than bank robbery and trans-gender disguise. It took me that eighteen months because it was lost for a couple of months, but mostly, I just read really slowly, because it is in Finnish. Funny side note: it took me about 10 pages to figure out which characters were boys and which were girls, because I wasn't familiar with the names and Finnish uses a neutral he/she pronoun. I hope I will read more young adult novels in Finnish because it is a great way to practice language skills, obviously, but books like Jade which are original in Finnish and set in Finland are an awesome cultural immersion.
|Jade and my running list of vocabulary words to learn|
These points apply to any text, of course--building vocabulary and shaping a cultural viewpoint.
What have you noticed, specifically, that you've learned from reading a book?
Do you read in languages other than English?