After working on my oral skills in English for a couple of years, I know more interested in learning written English, specially by reading. I have been reading a couple of books over the last months (Game of Thrones, the whole Sherlock Holmes, Lord of the Rings, some Stephen King...) and articles (the Guardian, the New York Times, the Atlantic, mostly). But although I've felt some improvements in my understanding, and learned lots of words, I'm still not enjoying reading English as much as I do enjoy reading French (which is my natural language), and I'm not even what you could call a literary (checking my other stackexchange affiliations would prove you that...). When reading English I just follow the plot, but I'm really totally insensitive in the style of writing, in the choice of words, ... I hardly realized that when reading a few pages of French the other day, it's even way easier to focus on what I read when it is French than English.

Fellow who learned English as a second (or third, or more...) language, have already felt that? Have you been through that? How long did it take? Or is it just a never ending job in progress but I'll never reach the ease I have with French?

closed as not constructive by simchona Mar 1 '13 at 1:02

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    I wonder if this question wouldn't fare better at the sister site for English Language Learners. – J.R. Feb 28 '13 at 21:43
  • Hum maybe I didn't know about this SE, a moderator may decide to move it there then ;) – Learning is a mess Feb 28 '13 at 21:47
  • @Learningisamess We should be so lucky. :( – tchrist Feb 28 '13 at 21:52
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    If it gets closed here, you can always re-ask it there. Anyhow, at least you know about that site now; we'd love to gain a user over there who is reading Doyle and Tolkien to bone up on English – especially me & @tchrist :^) – J.R. Feb 28 '13 at 22:04

Just wanted to pass on a few reading tips before this question gets moved.

I encourage you to keep exploring writers of English until you find one that resonates with you. You might enjoy a writing style that is more precise or poetic than the long-winded epics you listed above. Try some middle-grade, or young adult books. There are a lot of great writers that target a younger audience. They use simple prose, and their writing can be beautiful.

  • You might want to re-post this answer, or some similar version of it, over on ELL, now that the question has been reposted. Having read aloud to my kids for a couple decades, I completely agreed with this answer – not all youth books are made solely for youth. Bridge to Terabithia, Saffy's Angel, The Dust of 100 Dogs, and The Secret of Platform 13 may be found in the youth (or even children's) section of your local library, but I'd count them among some of the more enjoyable books I've ever read. – J.R. Mar 1 '13 at 10:38

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