What is ROMAN Reading?

ROMAN stands for Read, Outline, Mark, Ask, Name. With these five skills you can read any book, no matter how difficult. For more information, download my free eBook: ROMAN Reading: 5 Practical Skills for Transforming Your Life through Literature. Isn't it time you begin to change your life one page at a time?

Saturday, June 16, 2007

ROMAN Reading Exercise 3: "The Telltale Heart" by Edgar Allen Poe

The newest ROMAN Reading practice story is the classic by Edgar Allen Poe, "The Telltale Heart." Don't forget that all of the ROMAN Reading practice stories are available on the resource page of NickSenger.com.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Announcing Teen Literacy Tips

(Cross posted at Literary Compass)

I am very pleased to announce the launch of my major web project, Teen Literacy Tips. If you are a junior or senior high teacher or administrator, a homeschooling parent, or a parent who wants to enrich your teen's classroom education, Teen Literacy Tips is designed for you. Please tell as many people as you can about it. Here's an excerpt from the introductory page:

This site will help you turn each of your students into the elusive Literate Teenager -- spontaneous yet intelligent, energetic yet thoughtful, the despair of nutritionists and the hope of the world. If you're a junior or senior high teacher, a concerned parent, or a school administrator, the materials you find here will help you teach teens to be more human, to be more intelligent, and to be more analytical. Using the skills and resources on this site, you'll become the reading mentor students need: the Gandalf to their Frodo, the Good Witch to their Dorothy, the Socrates to their Plato.

The heart of this site is Teen Literacy Tips, an educational blog that provides you with teaching techniques and advice several times a week. You can subscribe to the feed using a blog reader, or you can simply bookmark the page and visit it each day.

The discussion forums give you a chance to connect with other teachers and parents who face the same challenges you do when it comes to teaching teens to improve their reading habits and skills.

And one of the most exciting areas is the resources section, where you will find lessons, book lists, articles, and much more, including audio and video files that you can download. This area will be expanding greatly during the coming months, so be sure to visit it frequently.

I've even partnered with Simply Hired to provide job listings for those of you that might be fresh out of college and looking for work, or for those of you looking for a change of scene.
Please drop by and leave a comment, and if you like what you see, spread the word. You can find it at www.TeenLiteracy.com or www.NickSenger.com.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

How to Turn a Book into a Treasured Heirloom

(Cross-posted at Literary Compass)

Stefanie at So Many Books has just posted a review of ROMAN Reading and it's generating some great comments about marking in books. Here's one by Whatladder that I particularly like:

My husband claims that his favourite book ever is the copy of the Norton Anthology of Poetry I gave him that had all my pencilled notes in it.
What a terrific reminder of the value of marking in books. Besides helping you engage in the text, writing in a book also leaves a visible sign of your presence. When Whatladder's husband reads her marked up book of poetry, he's not just coming into contact with great writers, he's getting to know his wife more intimately. She's there in those pages--her ideas, her reactions, her spirit. I think it's beautifully romantic that her husband has recognized that.

Can you imagine a more meaningful and personal family heirloom than a library of books full of our own thoughts, comments and insights? Think of our children and grandchildren reading through them, getting to know their ancestors. I would love to have a set of books written in by my grandparents. We only get to know our parents and grandparents when they're older; what if we could read their minds when they were our age? What if I could know what my own father thought about life when he was twenty or thirty or forty? Leaving comments in books gives us that chance.

Let's take it a step further: What if your grandmother wrote comments in her copy of Pride and Prejudice, for example. And what if your mother inherited it and added her comments to her mother's? And now the book is yours. Not only do you have a treasured physical possession, you also have something far more valuable: your mother's and grandmother's intimate thoughts and emotions captured for a brief moment on paper. But there's more: Now you have the chance to add your own reflections, insights and reactions to the book for your daughter to read.

Here's an idea: Buy a book with one of your children or grandchildren in mind and read it, marking it up as you go. You can direct the comments directly to them, or you can simply mark it up as you would any piece of literature. After you've finished the book, wrap it up and give it to them as a present. Save it for graduation, or their wedding, or a significant birthday. Maybe give it to them on their confirmation or bar mitzvah, or at a baby shower.

For more about marking up a text, download my free ebook ROMAN Reading: 5 Practical Skills for Transforming Your Life through Literature.

What People Are Saying about ROMAN Reading

(Updated May 19, 2007)

The buzz about ROMAN Reading is continuing to increase. Here's a roundup of what people have to say:

  • "...a very handy guide...It is simply but attractively formatted and has some very good ideas to improve reading habits." -- Julie at Happy Catholic
  • "It basically follows many of Mortimer Adler's suggestions in the classic How to Read a Book, but it is shorter and easier to read (74 pages). I am thinking it might be a good read for a middle school or starting high school student, or a good starter book or review for a parent who wants a quick overview of the essentials of how to read good literature." -- Willa, In a Spacious Place
  • "...a useful guide for those just beginning their literary careers." -- Becky, Farmschool
  • "...a clean and simple format, interspersed with inspiring literary quotes. He also includes tips for people who might be intimidated by the classics, and lists some helpful books on reading and as well as a selection of classic books that most often appear on "great books" lists. And did I mention it's free? Anyone looking for a quick reading tune-up, or perhaps wanting to inspire a new reader, should have a look at ROMAN Reading." -- Sylvia, Classical Bookworm
  • "ROMAN Reading is a simple, easy book. It’s great for new readers and readers who want to become better readers but may be intimidated by “literature.” It’s also good for experienced readers, a pleasant reminder to not be lazy. Oh, yeah, and it’s free!" -- Stefanie, So Many Books
  • "Just as Senger (and Mortimer J. Adler before him) envisions reading as chatting with another human being, I feel that playing through music is a similar experience." -- JupiterJenkins.com
Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to write about ROMAN Reading. If you've written about it please let me know, as I'll be continally updating this page.

Monday, May 14, 2007

How to Read Like a Classical Bookworm

Sylvia at Classical Bookworm has a post that every budding reader should see. She's reading Don Quixote right now, and in her post she explains how she's reading it. Here's a sample:

After finishing a chapter I write a quick prose summary of what happened, just two to four sentences. I've found that summarizing the action in my own words and in complete sentences makes it stick in my mind far better than point form notes. After that I review what I underlined and pick out what still seems important and write it down as notes or quotes, as appropriate.
And take a look at this fantastic picture:

Unlike me, Sylvia likes to use a mechanical pencil when she marks her books, and she also uses a moleskin journal for her notes, a terrific example of how readers find their own style and their own tools. Be sure to read the rest of the post. And see all of Sylvia's posts about Don Quixote at Tilting at Windmills.

Friday, May 11, 2007

ROMAN Reading Exercise 2: "God Sees the Truth, But Waits" by Leo Tolstoy

I've uploaded another practice text, "God Sees the Truth, But Waits," by Leo Tolstoy.

And I'd like to mention a new addition to my family of blogs, Free Daily Learning. Learn something new every day on a variety of topics. Recent posts include: how to cook Cheesy Soul-Food Meatballs N Baked Potato Casserole, the correct way to dribble, and how to submit a podcast to iTunes.

Subscribe to the feed and get a new tutorial each and every day. Increase your knowledge. Impress your family at the dinner table. Visit Free Daily Learning.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

ROMAN Reading Now Available as a Free Audio Book

(Cross posted at Literary Compass)

ROMAN Reading: 5 Practical Skills for Transforming Your Life through Literature is now available as a free mp3 download at FreeIQ. To download the file you have to get a free acount, but once you join you'll have access to some great content. I've also made the audio book available as streaming audio, so that you can embed the file on your blog if you want, like this:

Get the Flash Player to see this player.

For more on why I wrote the book and why I'm giving it away for free, see this post, where you can also find a link to download it.