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Cariboo Chilcotin Partners for Literacy: Reading comes in many forms

Audiobooks are a great option to suit a busy lifestyle
Graphic novels are a great way to boost reading skills by using storyboards to accompany text.

By Shelby Byer

Do you ever find yourself having to choose between reading or doing the dishes? Why not do both? Books are available in multiple formats to suit all levels of literacy.

Audiobooks are a great option to suit a busy lifestyle. Last year, more than 1,440 audiobooks were borrowed from the CRD 100 Mile House Library.

Many patrons are multitasking with audiobooks in the car or audiobooks from a smartphone while gardening, and it all counts as active reading.

However, the benefits of audiobooks go beyond conveniences. You need listening skills to focus on an audiobook just as you would by reading text, only now you are able to enjoy the story with your hands-free.

For anyone learning how to read or practice English skills, audiobooks can teach vocabulary just as well as a printed book while also giving pronunciations. Printed picture books with a CD to follow along with are also popular – almost 200 were borrowed from our branch in 2022.

If you are more of a visual learner, consider borrowing a graphic novel. You can find Anime/Manga series or even classic novels such as To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. Following along with a storyboard allows readers to understand the words better by showing how they are used, instead of imagining the story in their heads.

Visual reading surrounds us on billboards, in retail stores, or in fast-food restaurants and graphic novels can help fine-tune those reading skills. We read to receive information and consume it all. We can discuss the details of a book whether it came from writing on a page, voices through a speaker, or images dancing around words. For readers of any age, we encourage you to validate all levels of reading by buying or borrowing a new type of book.

Shelby Byer is the CRD 100 Mile House Area Librarian and president of CCPL’s board of directors.

READ MORE: FAMILY LITERACY WEEK: The great build up to Kindergarten

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