Have you ever been reading something—your eyes scanning across the page, the words flashing through your mind—and then realized that you don’t remember anything that you just read? Too often, we are passive readers: the words flow over us, but the meaning escapes us, which isn’t really reading at all.
Becoming an active rather than a passive reader is important for your college success. Active readers engage with the texts they are reading by asking questions, challenging ideas, making connections, looking up unfamiliar vocabulary or allusions, and discussing ideas with others. Often, an active reader will read with a pen in hand, making margin notes as he or she reads. Your copy of The Five People You Meet In Heaven is your own, so don’t be afraid to mark it as you read.
Practicing the habits of the active reader will help you to respond to the following discussion questions. Write responses to the questions and bring them with you when you arrive for the Fall 2013 semester. These questions will guide our discussion of The Five People You Meet In Heaven in your freshmen orientation course.
(This section is revised from Dr. Beth Kemper’s work, 2006)