HW 7: Readability of a Novel

 

Life Of Pi and Readability

In all honesty, I’ve never heard of the word, “readability,” before until it made its presence known during one of our EDR classes. The word sounded familiar, yet it also sounded foreign. The blend of opposites made it comprehensible, and a little bit incomprehensible at the same time. What I do know is the fact that any kind of reading material – whether it be poetry, a novel, an article can only touch your heart, and be engraved in your system if you read it during the right age, the right place, and at the right time.

Readability also functions in the same way. It helps each of us learn whether a book or a novel is right for us. Some texts may be difficult for us to read, and some texts may be fairly easy to read. Reading here not just means to read words across a page, but to understand what each word means and how they connect to form a greater meaning. The readability grade makes it easier for us to choose what to read next based on our reading capabilities.

For this exercise, I chose the novel by Yann Martel entitled, “ Life Of Pi.” It has always been one of my favorite novels for the book came into my life during a time when I needed it most. It spoke of courage, of perseverance despite life’s constant blows, despite the struggles that we must face within each phase of our lives.

I didn’t exactly consider the readability factor before choosing the book. I chose it because it spoke to me on a deeper level more than the other books between aisles in a bookshop. It wasn’t difficult for me to read it, and I enjoyed it immensely.

Though I must say that the book is quite difficult to read for most. It is a winner of, “The Man Booker Prize,” during the year 2002, after all. Usually, the winners of, “ The Booker Prizes,” have interesting content but can be a bit daunting to read. “Life Of Pi,” is no exception for you need a wide vocabulary and a wide range of reading skills in order to read it with ease.

With regards to readability, I used the SMOG formula to calculate the book’s readability grade. It incurred a grade of 21.

I chose 10 sentences that are parts of the beginning, middle, and end of the novel. After this, I counted only the polysyllabic words per sentence. For the beginning, I got 107 polysyllabic syllables. The middle, 92 syllables, and the end, 115 syllables. Afterwards, I added everything and got a sum of 314. I calculated the square root of 314 and got 18. I then, added 18 to 3 and got the final readability grade of 21.

This just means that the length of the words and sentences found in the text are higher than most. One needs to exert more effort into deciphering the meaning behind sentences or words.

“Life Of Pi,” can be difficult to read but it uses a simpler language than most books I’ve held and read in my life.

If one gets to surpass all the reading challenges thrusted upon them, one can count on the fact that they’re in for a rewarding experience. Nothing is greater than reading a book and letting it change, or reveal you for the better.

Sources:

http://webpages.charter.net/ghal/SMOG_Readability_Formula_G._Harry_McLaughlin_(1969).pdf

Score: 88/100

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